Distracted driving is now suspected as a factor in a majority of all car accidents. However, many people assume that simply not texting or typing while driving solves the problem. This is, tragically, far from the truth. In fact, cellphone use is only a factor in a very small percentage of distracted driving accidents, listed as a cause in just 12% of these collisions.
General inattention or daydreaming is the leading cause of distracted driving accidents. A factor in 62% of distracted driving car crashes, inattention to the task at hand results in more serious injuries and deaths than any other type of distraction. This means that the easiest way to avoid causing a distracted driving accident is paying attention. Consciously, intentionally, and relentlessly paying attention.
What Kinds of Things Cause Distraction?
You can help focus your attention by avoiding things that are known to cause distraction. These include:
- Eating and drinking
- Personal grooming (applying makeup, shaving, combing hair, etc.)
- Adjusting the radio or a portable music device
- Adjusting climate controls
- Turning to talk to passengers
We have been led to believe that on-board electronic offerings, connected wirelessly or through BlueTooth, will allow us to operate our vehicles safely, even while using our electronic devices. This is not true. A comprehensive study conducted by AAA found that hands-free technology is actually more distracting than handheld options. You are more likely to injure someone or take a life if you are talking to your electronics than you are if you are typing on them. To truly avoid harming others, program your entertainment or infotainment system before you begin to drive and leave changing it in the hands of passengers. Alternately, you can turn these systems off completely.
Each of us works to prevent accidents by choosing to behave responsibly. This is a conscious choice that must be made every time you enter your vehicle. Even a moment’s inattention places everyone on the road at great risk for harm.
You reduce your risk of causing an accident by:
- Turning your cellphone off
- Programming GPS and choosing music/radio before you begin driving
- Eating and drinking outside of the car
- Grooming in a bathroom
- Keeping your eyes and attention on the road
When you drive, you have only one task: to safely maneuver your vehicle to its destination. You cannot do this if you are multitasking. No one can actually multitask, no matter what they may believe, which means anything you do while driving that is not directly related to driving increases your risk of killing yourself or someone else. You alone have the power to prevent this.
What Happens if a Distracted Driver Hits Me?
Your responsible driving habits can only go so far. The behavior of others is a constant factor on the road. If you are hit by a distracted driver, you are entitled to hold that person accountable and seek compensation for any related damages.
Even if the driver way not breaking the law, you may be entitled to compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering
The best way to learn if you have cause to file suit is through a one-on-one consultation with one of our Lakeland, Florida personal injury lawyers. During this complimentary case evaluation, we can help you understand your options and guide you towards the best one for your needs.
Please call 800-475-7005 to schedule your complimentary consultation today. Our lawyers serve the Florida communities of Tampa, Brandon, Lakeland, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Orlando, Sebring, and all surrounding areas.