When you hear the phrase “distracted driving,” you may immediately think of texting and driving. If so, you are not alone. In fact, many people across the nation believe that texting and driving is the only form of distracted driving.
While cell phone usage is one of most common and dangerous form of distracted driving, there are many other things that may take your eyes away from the road putting you and your passengers in harm's way.
To better understand the dangers behind distracted driving, we must first establish what distracted driving really is. The simple answer would be anything that causes you to become distracted from your duties while behind the wheel.
These are just a few statistics to prove just how dangerous distracted driving is:
- Distracted driving is responsible for more than 58% of all teen accidents
- It can take only seconds following a distraction for an auto collision to occur
- Distracted driving is a completely preventable American epidemic
- Distracted driving numbers are getting to be so high that it is commonly referred to as “the new drunk driving”
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has discovered that distracted driving can be further broken down into 3 different categories based on which type of distraction they cause.
- Visual - This is something that takes your eyes away from the road. It can be something as simple as checking your GPS, changing the radio, or turning to talk to a passenger.
- Manual - This is something that causes you to take your hands away from the wheel. This includes things like reaching for your phone, using your phone, grabbing a drink, putting on make-up, and eating.
- Cognitive - This is when the distraction causes your mind to wander, leaving you paying no attention to the road.
As you can see, there are many different distractions that may interrupt your attention to the road. More importantly, cell phone usage is such a dangerous distraction because all 3 forms of distracted driving are present.
Some forms of distracted driving that may not be common knowledge to many are:
- Turning to look at your passengers during a conversation
- Changing the radio
- Updating your GPS
- Applying make-up
Tips For Protecting Yourself and Others While Driving
Tell Family and Friends that, when driving, you will not be responding to text messages and that you will respond only when you are no longer on the road.
Program your cell phone to automatically stop incoming text messaging when the phone senses you are driving. You can tailor messages to friends that advise that you are driving and that you will respond when safe. If the text message is urgent, the driver can be notified and can pull over to review the text when safe.
Encourage your friends and family to put down the cell phone and never to text or use internet while driving. Emphasize to young drivers that lives have been lost and innocent lives taken every day due to drivers looking at cell phones while driving, even for just a second or two.
Enter into an agreement—shake on it if you need to—that you and your family members and friends will not put themselves or others in danger by using cell phones or engaging in other distractions while driving.
The Haynes Firm has seen many of our client’s lives completely change following a motor vehicle collision involving negligence or recklessness due to driving distracted. For more than 70 years combined, our team of staunch Tennessee auto collision attorneys has been helping those injured due to other’s negligence to pursue the compensation they deserve to help rebuild their lives.
Don’t let the negligence of another individual change your life forever. Let us help you get your life back. Call us today at (423)451-4999 for more information on how we can help over a free case evaluation.