Distracted driving means that you are driving with your attention to fully focused on operating your motor vehicle. It comes in many forms, all of which present a unique danger to everyone out there on the road. Distracted driving has become a pervasive problem across the country. This is especially true considering how dependent people have become on consistently using technology. Multitasking has reached new heights and it is effecting our ability to focus and drive safely. In fact, the National Safety Counsel reports that over 3,000 people are killed each year on U.S. roads in distracted driving car crashes. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 9 people are killed each day in reported crashes that involve a distracted driver. The CDC also reports that more than 1,000 people are injured each day in reported crashes that involve a distracted driver. It is time to come face to face with this devastating statistics. We all know that we are guilty of certain forms of distracted driving. Now, we must take steps to consciously avoid these dangerous behaviors. We are putting ourselves and others at great risk.
Common Forms of Distracted Driving We Are All Guilty Of
Distracted driving involves participating in another activity that draws your attention away from driving. The distraction may be a visual one, causing you to take your eyes off of the road. It may be a manual distraction, causing you to take your hands off of the wheel. It may also be a cognitive one, causing you to take your mind off of driving. Every kind of distraction is dangerous and can greatly increase the chances of a motor vehicle crash occurring.
Let’s just get this out there right now: we are all guilty of some of the common forms of distracted driving. We may go off on tirades about other people we see on the road who are on their phones or are otherwise distracted, but we have all been there. Some of the common forms of distracted driving that we are all guilty of include:
- Texting while driving: This has become an incredibly pervasive distracted driving practice in the U.S. We cannot seem to put down our phones. Rarely is a text so important that it needs to be checked right away, but we have become so accustomed to immediate access that we do not want to wait. If a text is critically important, it is best to pull over safely and check the text then. Looking down at your phone to read or respond to a text will draw your eyes away from the road. You may think it is only a moment, but a lot can happen in a moment and the results can be devastating.
- Talking on the phone: Talking on the phone while driving has become second nature to many people. There are not many that would think twice about picking up the phone while driving. You may want to multitask and get some work calls in while on the road or you may want to use the time catching up with a friend. While the danger of talking on the phone while driving is somewhat diminished with the use of hands free technology (at least then you have the ability to have both hands on the wheel), talking on the phone while driving is still distracted driving.
- Using GPS: Gone are the days of using Mapquest to plan out a route before getting in the car. Nowadays, we just hop in the car and depend on GPS to guide us to our destination. Looking down at GPS and trying to look ahead on the route it provides can be a major distraction. If you are going to use GPS, be sure to at least mount it in a spot where it is easily visible. Make use of the volume so that you can listen to the directions without needing to actually look over at the map. Additionally, try and become as familiar as possible with your route prior to getting into your car. A little familiarity with where you are going can go a long way to keeping you and others safe out there on the road.
- Applying makeup or grooming: This again comes back to our constant need to maximize productivity through multitasking. Brushing our hair, putting on makeup, and other grooming activities are often left until we are behind the wheels of our car on our way to work, out with friends, etc. It is a dangerous habit we are all too guilty of. These are activities that draw our vision, mind, and hands away from the road.
Fairfax Distracted Driving Attorney
We have officially all been called out on our dangerous distracted driving habits. We are all guilty of these distracted driving behaviors and we all need to consciously work to end them. The road demands our full attention. The lives of thousands of people are on the line each day. If you have suffered injuries in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, you may be entitled to compensation for the harm they have caused you to suffer. Contact a qualified personal injury attorney today.