These Distractions While Driving Cause Serious Injuries to Others | Dailytrust

These Distractions While Driving Cause Serious Injuries to Others

Accidents due to distracted driving are a problem all around the globe. As the number of drivers and cars increases on the streets, usually so does the number of fatal accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released data suggesting that every day, roughly one in eight people die due to a distracted driver in the United States. These numbers are not only astonishing but also rather alarming as they showcase clearly how big this problem is.

What is Distracted Driving?

The term itself is a pretty clear one. Distracted driving is simply driving while another activity or visual stimulus occupies your attention. Distractions can be categorized into three categories; visual distractions, manual distractions, and cognitive distractions.

Some Common Visual Distractions

Visual distractions are when the driver takes his or her eyes off the road and looks at something else. There are various reasons for this; however, these are some of the most common ones.

Cellphones

This is a prevalent distraction that we often see on the road. Many times, drivers will be texting or using their phones while driving. Usually, people not only take their eyes off the road while using their phones, but their hands may also be off the steering wheel, which makes the situation even more dangerous. A study in 2019 showed that in the past 30 days, 39% of high school students who drove either texted or emailed while driving on at least one of those days.

GPS/Navigation Systems

These systems are convenient and can be of great use if used carefully. However, if a person is focused more on the navigation system in the car instead of on the road, the outcome of this negligence can be very poor. Sometimes, people use maps while driving; those are even more difficult to handle, so it is best to ask the passenger to manage any and all directions.

Billboards

Billboards and roadside attractions are made to catch your eye. However, they can sometimes be too distracting and cause the driver to have their eyes off the road, even for a few seconds, and in those few seconds, a lot can happen.

Glare

Sunlight glare is a very common problem faced by drivers and passengers. Sometimes the sun will shine so brightly and at such an angle that you cannot see the road. To avoid this, it is best to either wear sunglasses or use your car’s sun visor.

Poor Weather Conditions with Low Visibility

Rain, hail, snowfall, dust storms, etc. can create bad driving conditions where the visibility is relatively low. In such situations, it is best not to drive until the visibility has improved.

Some Common Manual Distractions

Manual Distractions lead to the driver taking his or her hands off the car’s steering wheel. Here are a few examples of this.

 

Reaching for Something

Everyone knows not to take their hands off the wheel while on the road. However, sometimes people drop their phones or some other valuable item in the car and then try to retrieve it by putting their hand underneath the seat or where they think it is. This is not a safe practice and reduces their ability to move the car away quickly if an obstruction comes up.

Food and Drinks

Many people have meals in their cars while driving. They will either be holding their food or their drink with one hand and will use the other hand to steer the car. This is an unsafe yet common practice and one that people should avoid at all costs.

Some Common Cognitive Distractions

Cognitive distractions are those where you might be watching the road and have your hands on the wheel, but your mind is distracted, hence causing you to have a slower reaction time.

Talking to a Passenger

People often start talking to passengers while driving, and although it is not always a bad thing, it can sometimes become dangerous if you are more involved in the conversation than driving. Conditions like argument eruptions or strong emotions at play are likely to distract the driver from the road and lead to possible damage.

Radio/Music Volume

High volumes of the radio can often be a distraction to drivers. Some people will sway along with the music while driving, which is not safe. Your sole focus while driving should be on the road and avoiding any mishaps.

Sleepiness

Sleepiness or drowsiness significantly impairs your reaction time and ability to make decisions. Hence, if you are ever sleepy, you should not be behind the wheel as you might not be able to focus on the road and could potentially get into an accident.

What to Do if You See a Distracted Driver?

Attorney Rich Godshall of Ostroff Injury Law says that “If you notice that another driver seems distracted while driving, you have to assume that the driver cannot see you and you must do what you can to stay away from that vehicle. When you get a chance to safely pull over, park your vehicle and call 911 to inform the authorities of the situation.”

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