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Car Accidents Personal Injury

Common Causes of Distracted Driving

examples of distracted drivingWe’ve all seen it, and might even be guilty of doing it from time to time. Unfortunately, distracted driving is a common occurrence that also doubles as a leading cause of accidents. Although there are many reasons why a driver might get distracted behind the wheel, that doesn’t take away from the fact that it causes thousands of accidents every year. 

The most common example of distracted driving is using a cell phone while driving. While this is absolutely a main cause of distracted driving, it’s far from the only one. 

 

What are some examples of distracted driving? 

In this day and age, it’s not out of the ordinary to see a driver talking or texting while driving. However, there are many types of distracted driving that can cause accidents, leading to serious injuries and even death. 

Besides using a cell phone, other common examples of distracted driving include:

  • Eating or drinking 
  • Adjusting the radio
  • Navigating with a GPS 
  • Playing music that’s too loud
  • Putting on makeup 
  • Getting distracted by other vehicle passengers 
  • Adjusting the mirrors
  • Reading an email 
  • Adjusting climate controls 
  • Getting lost in thought
  • Smoking 
  • Looking for objects in the car  
  • Pets or other passengers moving around in the vehicle

Anything that takes a driver’s undivided attention away from the road is a distraction. While some distractions may seem minor, like adjusting a mirror or eating a sandwich, they can lead to major road accidents. 

 

Distracted Driving Leads to More Accidents Than You Think

When car accidents come to mind, people typically think of drunk driving or driving under the influence of drugs as the major causes. While it’s true that these cause a lot of accidents, motorists may be surprised to learn that eight people die every day from accidents involving distracted driving. 

Distracted drivers are a danger to not only themselves but everyone else on the road as well. Other motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists are all at risk when there’s a distracted driver in the vicinity. 

In 2018 alone, 400,000 people were injured in accidents involving distracted drivers. Within this group, over 2,800 people died from their injuries and 20% of these people were not in a vehicle. They were walking, jogging, or riding a bike.

On average, roughly 3,000 die every year from accidents caused by distracted driving. What’s especially terrible and frustrating about these deaths is that they were completely preventable. Taking 30 seconds to respond to a text might not seem like a big deal. But in reality, it only takes 30 seconds to get into an accident and cause irreparable harm to another person and their loved ones. 

 

How to Prevent Distracted Driving

The best way to avoid distracted driving is to prevent it from happening in the first place. There are some steps drivers can take to minimize their chances of getting distracted while behind the wheel: 

  • Turn your phone on silent and put it away. Many distracted driving accidents caused by cell phones happen because someone wants to respond to a text or call. By muting your phone, you ensure a distraction-free drive without any vibrations or text alerts. 
  • Make all the necessary adjustments before you drive. While your car is still parked, make sure your mirrors, lights, and radio are adjusted to your preferred settings. All of these things take less than a minute to do and can save you from a distraction when you’re on the road. 
  • Secure pets or children. Driving while dogs or kids are moving around in the backseat is not only distracting but dangerous. Even if they’re not the cause of the distraction, they can be seriously injured if they don’t have the proper seatbelts in place.  
  • Stop to eat. If you’re on a long road trip, it might be tempting to swing into a fast-food drive-thru and eat while on the road. However, if you park your car to eat your meal, you’ll be able to take a break and prevent yourself from getting distracted by accidentally dropping your food or trying to eat and steer at the same time. 
  • Ask passengers to assist with navigation. Rather than handling your GPS and driving at the same time, delegate navigation to your passenger. They can give you turn-by-turn directions while you focus on the road. 

These are just a few examples of distracted driving prevention. There are many more ways you can eliminate distractions from the driver’s seat – you may even save lives by doing so. 

 

Did a distracted driver injure you in an accident?

Even if you’re a motorist that’s completely focused, obeying traffic laws, and driving cautiously, you can still get hit by a distracted driver. A car accident lawyer can advise you on your legal options and how to seek compensation for your damages. 

If you or a loved one are facing a mountain of medical bills from a run-in with a distracted driver, you have the right to protect yourself by seeking financial compensation. Contact our office today at (800) 397-4910 or online to schedule a completely risk-free case evaluation.