While most are familiar with the dangers of distracted driving, many of us are unaware of exactly how prevalent this dangerous habit is. Roughly nine people per day are killed in the United States due to vehicle accidents that involve a distracted driver, per the CDC, and over 1,000 people are injured daily in such crashes.
At the offices of John D. Halepaska, we see numerous auto accident injury cases that stem from a distracted driver, and have provided auto injury attorney services to many clients who made their liability claim based on another driver’s negligence due to distraction. What are some of the most common causes of distracted driving, including those that can be used in liability cases after the fact? Here are a few of the most frequent.
One of the single most common and most dangerous forms of distracted driving in the US takes place when the driver is using their cell phone to send a text message. This form of distraction causes thousands of deaths in the US every year, and untold numbers of injuries.
Not only is texting dangerous because it removes your eyes from the road, it also removes at least one hand from the steering wheel. It also distracts your mind to the content of the message rather than your surroundings on the road. Numerous personal injury cases following vehicle accidents have used texting as proof that a driver was negligent, resulting in significant compensation in many situations.
Another highly risky activity for drivers is rubbernecking, or taking time to focus on something else that’s happening on the road, often another accident. Rubbernecking causes a huge number of additional accidents each year, some of which can be extremely dangerous or even fatal. It’s particularly dangerous on highways, though it should never be done even on residential roads.
Other Cell Phone Usage
Texting isn’t the only risk of cell phone usage while driving, and this extends even to areas you may have thought were more acceptable. Research shows that the brain stays distracted for just shy of 30 additional seconds even after using hands-free voice commands on a cell phone, meaning even this kind of usage can distract you and cause driving issues. The safest drivers do not use their cell phone in any way while driving.
Finally, another common cause of distracted driving is simple daydreaming, which includes drowsy or tired driving. If there’s any reason why your brain cannot be fully focused on the road in front of you, whether it’s because you’re tired or you’re stuck thinking about something else intently, pull over and allow your brain the time to relax or rest before resuming driving safely.
For more on the common causes of distracted driving, or to learn about any of our personal injury or car accident injury attorney services, speak to the staff at the offices of John D. Halepaska today.