In recent years, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), has been raising awareness about the dangers of distracted driving. They have a clear message to motorists all over the country and its a simple one, drive safely. This means every time you sit in your car, you must be fully committed to this one task. Distractions cause accidents!
Lets your driving down the road and your best friend texts you. Obviously you’re interested in what your friend has to say, right? So you pick up your phone and check the text message. While you were so involved in checked that message, you drove about the length of a entire football field with our eyes completely off the road! Texting isn’t the only distraction when you’re driving. Any behavior that causes you to take you full attention away from driving is now a danger to you and those around you.
There are three different categories of distracted driving:
- Visual Distractions – anything that takes your eyes off the road
- Manual Distractions – this includes anything that forces you to remove your hands from the wheel. Ex: eating, doing your makeup, messing with your radio.
- Cognitive Distractions – when you take your mind off the task of driving. Ex: day dreaming, deep thought
An activity like texting can fall under al three of these categories.
Let’s dive into some statistics to see how much distracted driving effects drivers.
- In 2016, nine percent of fatal crashes were reported as distraction-affected.
- 3,450 people were killed in crashes involving distracted drivers in 2016.
- Six percent of all drivers involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash.
- Nine percent of drivers 15 to 19 years old involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted.
- In 2016, there were 562 non-occupants (pedestrians, cyclists and others) killed in distraction-affected crashes.
Distracted driving has become an epidemic on roadways in California and all over the nation. If you suspect a driver involved in your crash was distracted at the time of the wreck, contact a lawyer about your case. Additional investigative measures may be necessary to determine if driver distraction was a factor.