Why is Distracted Driving So Dangerous?
Negligence: we know that it leads to countless accidents each year. There are far too many situations in which a person does something that puts other people in danger. As a result, tens of thousands of people suffer catastrophic injuries; some even fatal.
One of the most serious forms of negligence is distracted driving. It’s important for you as a driver to recognize what the types of distracted driving are, how dangerous these actions are, and the catastrophic injuries they can cause. It’s also vital to recognize signs of distracted driving so you can stay as safe as possible on the road.
The three main types of distracted driving are broken down as the following:
To learn about each of these types of distracted driving, keep reading below. You can also click on the links above to view each section.
Call our firm if you suffer an injury because of distracted driving: (800) 294-6637.
Keep your eyes on the road. It’s something that people are always told whenever they’re first learning to drive and it’s a constant reminder of the way you should drive on the road. Unfortunately, far too many drivers forget about this simple piece of advice, and it often leads to negligence.
A visual distraction is anything that removes a driver’s eyes from the road. It only takes a few seconds for an accident to arise, but most actions that cause visual distractions take at least five seconds. When you combine those visual distractions with the often-high rate of speed that most people drive—especially on highways—this can be a daunting situation.
Visual distractions are some of the most common when you think of distracted driving. However, these types of distractions are only a portion of the problem, but they are typically combined with the other types of distractions.
Think back to whenever you took the driving test to get your license. One of the things you made sure to do was keep both hands on the steering wheel. The recommended positions of your hands have changed over the years, but the safest option for all drivers is to ensure both hands are on the steering wheel.
Unfortunately, there are specific situations in which a driver may remove at least one of his or her hands from the steering wheel. While most people think they can do this safely, it’s a problem on the roadways—one that could lead to some of the most damaging accidents.
One of the biggest problems with manual distractions is loss of control of the vehicle. Whenever someone loses control of a vehicle because of a road danger or avoiding a collision, having only one hand on the steering wheel can make it difficult to regain control. This significantly increases the possibility of a crash occurring.
This is one of the most confusing types of distractions for some people because they don’t always recognize it. Cognitive distractions are any that result in drivers taking their focus off the task at hand and not thinking about the action of driving.
Cognitive distractions can come in many forms, but many drivers don’t always recognize the issues that can arise. Unfortunately, you can have both of your hands on the steering wheel and your eyes on the road, but if you are not focused on the task at hand, it’s still a distraction. This lack of concentration can impair your decision-making abilities and other skills necessary to drive safely.
The Dangers of Distractions
Think about just how long it takes to do certain actions. Reaching for a phone or radio dial, eating, turning to a passenger; these actions can take at least a few seconds. However, no matter how long the distraction occurs, accidents can occur in seconds.
When someone is driving distracted, it takes about five seconds to travel the length of a football field at 55 miles per hour. Think of the damage that can arise in that distance. When you consider how long it takes to stop at that high rate of speed, looking away for a few seconds can prove to be disastrous.
Even worse, accidents resulting from distractions can have some of the most severe consequences. Because distracted drivers often speed up randomly or swerve into other lanes, this problem can leave you with catastrophic injuries, including but not limited to:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Broken bones
- Severe fractures
- Back and neck injuries
- Internal organ damage
These are some of the most severe injuries and often require lifelong care whenever they occur. If you suffer any of these types of injuries because of distracted driving, it’s important to understand what your rights are.
Distracted Driving Stats
There are many stats detailing just how dangerous distracted driving is. In fact, many of the people who recognize the dangers of distracted driving also admit to doing something that is considered distracted driving themselves.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that nearly 3,000 people were killed in 2018 due to distracted driving. Beyond that, there were roughly 400,000 people injured because of this type of negligence. The numbers show the true severity of these actions.
In Michigan, the numbers from 2016 to 2017 show a drastic increase (57%) in distracted driving accidents. Despite this, there are still many people who do things that cause them to lose focus on the road or otherwise drive distracted.
It’s important for you to recognize the signs of distracted driving, which include the following:
- A driver who is swerving between lanes
- When a driver speeds up or slows down erratically
- Sudden braking for no reason
- The driver is continuously looking down towards a phone
As a driver on the road, if you recognize any of these signs of distracted driving, be sure to stay back and report the driver. You may be tempted to drive faster to get past the distracted driver, but because you cannot predict the actions of these drivers, it’s best to stay back and clear of the driver.
At Fieger Law, we know your various rights whether you’re filing a claim with your own insurance company or taking action to file a third-party lawsuit. We’re committed to helping you through the process so you understand where negligence may exist, what legal options you have, and what to expect every step of the way.
Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of car accidents on the road, and when you suffer harm, you need compensation to cover your damages. Our Michigan car accident lawyers are ready to stand by your side and give you a voice against negligence. Trust that we’ll be there to safeguard your best interests throughout the process and work to obtain the most favorable outcome possible on your behalf.
Call our firm today at (800) 294-6637 to discuss your potential options with our team. We offer free consultations so you can get the answers you need without having financial concerns after an accident.