Distracted driving may actually have surpassed impaired driving as a cause of auto accidents. We are a nation of multi-taskers, and we don't let the fact we are driving get in the way of that. Any activity which could potentially divert your attention from the task of driving, is distracted driving. Traffic safety experts point out there are three distinct types of distracted driving, including:
- Manual distraction occurs when you remove your hands from the steering wheel to perform another task. As an example, reaching in your purse for something is a manual distraction.
- Visual distraction occurs when your eyes are taken from the road. An example would be dropping or spilling something, and looking down to assess the spill—or reading a text.
- A cognitive distraction occurs when your mind wanders from the task at hand—driving. Whether you are wondering what you will cook for dinner, what you will do at work today, or simply daydreaming, you are engaging in cognitive distraction.
The reason texting is so dangerous for drivers is that it involves all three forms of distraction—manual, visual and cognitive. Some facts and stats regarding distracted driving include the following:
- It is estimated that 431,000 people were injured, and 3,179 people were killed in automobile collisions which involved distracted drivers in 2014.
- Among drivers 15-19 years old, at least ten percent of those who were involved in fatal auto crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash.
- Despite laws prohibiting texting while driving, the percentage of drivers who are seen visibly manipulating handheld devices while behind the wheel increased from 1.7 percent to 2.2 percent from 2013 to 2014.
- An Erie Insurance survey, done in 2015, found that a full third of drivers admit to texting and driving, while 75 percent say they have observed others doing it.
- A driver who sends a text or reads a text takes his or her eyes from the road for about five seconds—the same time it takes an automobile, to travel the length of a football field traveling 55 mph.
- While teenagers seem to have heard the message about drinking and driving—90 percent of teen drivers say they never drive while impaired—nine out of ten say they have either seen a driver using a cell phone, or they have seen a passenger distracting the driver.
- When a driver listens to conversation from a passenger, or listens to music, his or her brain power declines by as much as 40 percent.
- More than three-fourths of the drivers surveyed, admitted they had, at one time or another during their driving career, engaged in blatantly hazardous driving behaviors, including changing clothes, shaving legs, reading a book, putting on makeup, painting nails and even steering with a foot.
- A driver who is talking or texting on their cell phone while driving, has an impairment level equal to that of a driver with a 0.08 BAC.
- Despite the push for hands-free devices, there is little difference in the cognitive distractions seen in those using a hand-held cell phone and a person using a hands-free device.
- It is estimated that the use of cell phones while driving is responsible for six percent of all crashes throughout any given year. This is equal to nearly 650,000 car collisions, 330,000 injuries, 2,600 deaths, and 12,000 serious injuries.
- Many people eat while driving, especially truck drivers, attempting to save time and get their loads delivered quickly. While virtually any food or drink can be a hazard for a driver, some are worse than others. Hot coffee is one of the worst offenders, spilling out over your car and your clothing when you hit the slightest bump—even when it has a lid. While coffee and sodas have some things in common, when you spill hot coffee in your lap, you are likely to be jumping around instead of driving. Tacos are a disaster waiting to happen for drivers, as the taco is bound to disassemble, leaving your car and your clothing a mess. Chili dogs, fried chicken wings, ribs, and hamburgers all have two things in common—grease and mess. Jelly donuts are equally messy and sticky. Chocolate is another disastrous food, particularly once it melts.
In the end, distraction while driving can result in a serious automobile accident, or even a fatality. When you get behind the wheel make it a rule that you do one thing and one thing only—drive.
Contact Our Louisville and Lexington Distracted Driving Accident Lawyers
At Sciantarelli Law Firm, our Louisville distracted driving accident attorneys are ready to fight for you and your rights. If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, we can help you obtain the money you will need to fully recover. To learn more about your legal rights, contact experienced Louisville car accident attorney, Kevin Sciantarelli, today for a free consultation. Call 1-855-538-4611 or fill out our online contact form for more information.