Driving while distracted has been an issue for nearly as long as we’ve had cars. Today’s environment has done very little to improve this problem. Modern conveniences have made it easier to do a number of things while driving, which regrettably has only increased the amount of time we spend driving and not paying attention to the road in front of us. Whether it’s an in-car feature, something on your smart phone, or an attention-grabbing advertisement on the side of the road, drivers today are arguably more distracted than ever before.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that over 1,100 people are injured in car accidents involving a distracted driver every day, making distracted driving one of the 3 largest causes of injury (along with speeding and intoxication). Drivers have a responsibility to avoid distractions in order to ensure their safety, as well as the safety of their passengers and those sharing the road with them. To learn how to become a safer driver, let’s look at the 3 types of driving distraction in further detail.
- Mental Distractions: Have you had a rough week at work? Are you dealing with a bad relationship or tight finances? Maybe your child is sick or you’re over the moon about your upcoming weekend plans? When your mind is focused on these things and not the road in front of you, you are obviously at a greater risk of an accident due to a cognitive distraction. Essentially, a mental or cognitive distraction is anything that takes your focus and attention away from the task you are currently doing (driving) and brings it somewhere else. The danger is increased with fatigued drivers.
- Visual Distractions: A visual distraction is anything that takes your eyes off the road ahead of you. That interesting billboard on the side of the road, the inflatable tube-man waving his arms, or the giant chicken holding a sign for a new restaurant are all visual distractions designed to get your attention while driving. Distractions can be found in the car as well with devices such as your GPS system, an in-dash system playing a video, someone showing you a picture on their smart phone, and so on.
- Manual Distractions: This third type of distraction is perhaps the most dangerous of all because it actually involves you removing one or both hands from the wheel. Manual distractions can include things such as eating or drinking, adjusting your GPS, putting on makeup, shaving, and more. It’s amazing what some people will do while driving. However, it also includes things that may seem relatively harmless, such as rolling down a window, scratching an itch, or changing the radio station. There are a large number of manual distractions in today’s vehicles, even with all of the added convenience features.
Distracted driving can be extremely dangerous and can result in serious injuries. If you have been injured and you suspect the other driver was operating a vehicle while distracted, don’t hesitate to discuss the details of your case with a Kansas City car accident attorney from Adler & Manson. Since 1995, we have helped victims of car accidents stand up for their rights and get the justice they deserve. We are not afraid to go as far as we need to in order to help you achieve a successful outcome in your case, and we never back down from insurance companies that would rather protect their bottom line than give you the care you deserve.
We are proud of our success, including recovering more than $80 million on behalf of our clients. Speak with a member of our team today! Call Adler & Manson at 816.216.6214 and request a free consultation to begin.