Unsurprisingly, distracted driving is a common cause of car accidents, associated injuries, and fatalities. Any activity that takes away one’s attention from the road is considered distracted driving.
At one time in our lives, we have all engaged in it while behind the wheels. However, it should be noted that these forms of distractions are dangerous and pose a risk of a catastrophic accident. In broader terms, these obstructions can be categorized into:
- Visual: Where you divert your eyes away from the road.
- Manual: Removing off your hands from the wheel.
- Cognitive: When your mind gets drifted away from driving to other things.
When narrowed down, the above distractions may include the following:
Cell Phone Usage
Since the introduction of the smartphone, accidents related to distractions by cell phones have risen considerably. This type of distraction has led to many fatalities in addition to severe injuries. Checking the phone even for a split of a second is dangerous as it takes off your mind, hands, and eyes from the driving, thereby creating a favorable ground for an accident.
Having Earbuds In
You might think it is a fun idea to have your earbuds in while steering, but the sad fact is that it’s not a good idea at all. Listening to something through them while driving hinders you from hearing what’s going on outside. For instance, you might miss a horn from another car seeking your attention or from an oncoming train.
Pets inside the Car
Pets love cuddles and constant patting and would call for it anytime they are around you. However, they can be notorious passengers. Dogs especially like moving from the front to the back seat or even sitting on your lap. As they do so, your attention is drifted from the road to them, which is dangerous.
Eating and Drinking
An empty stomach may tempt you to take some food or tidbits while you are in the car. Eating or taking a beverage is not a bad thing. However, doing it while driving may divert your attention from the road, thereby interfering with your driving.
Grooming While Driving
We all love to look nice. However, grooming at an odd time, such as driving, simultaneously impairs us visually, cognitively, and physically. Combing your hair or applying makeup might sound trivial but doing it at the wrong time may lead to a life-altering accident.
Rubbernecking on Events outside the Car
Rubbernecking or merely turning your head to get a glimpse of something outside is distracted driving, and it is perilous. As you gawk out the car’s side window to have a better view, you forget to pay attention to your vehicle. This narrows the time it would take you to prevent a possible collision.
What Should You do if you Become a Victim of Distracted Driving?
If you fall victim to a distracter driver, you have a legal right to claim any damages and get compensated. Should you incur an injury or lose a loved one out of it, ensure you reach out to a knowledgeable car accident lawyer to assist you through the case.
While it is not possible to outlaw all forms of distractions, many regions have enacted laws to check the biggest offenders. Even though these laws exist, taking a personal responsibility to avoid being distracted on the road is crucial.