We all know how hard it is to focus on one task at a time. In our busy, overworked lives, we often have to do several things at once in order to get through the day with any sense of accomplishment.Unfortunately, far too many people extend this habit of multi-tasking to driving. When controlling a two-ton machine at a speed of even 25 miles an hour, however, it is essential that the driver is fully engaged in the task. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving is the cause of nearly one in five car crashes resulting in injury. In 2013, over 3,000 people lost their lives at the hands of a distracted driver.
Distracted Driving Doesn’t Always Mean Texting
According to data compiled by the insurance industry, use of a cellphone is surprisingly not the leading cause of distracted driving accidents. Take a look at the list of the top ten driving distractions, based on insurance claims:
- Daydreaming. Driving “in a fog” or lost in thought is responsible for 62 percent of fatal road accidents involving distracted driving.
- Cellphone use. Any use of a phone—texting, talking, listening, or dialing—can lead to a crash, but texting consistently causes the most accidents, particularly among teenaged drivers. The National Safety Institute estimates that texting while driving causes 1.6 million accidents each year.
- Outside event. Watching something going on outside the vehicle, such as rubbernecking when passing an accident, accounts for seven percent of distracted driving fatal accidents.
- Other occupants. Talking to and looking at passengers in the car is a major distraction for drivers. Tending to children or holding conversations can take your eyes off the road for far too long.
- Reaching for a device. Drivers reaching to adjust a navigation device or to grab headphones or some other object cause about two percent of fatal distracted driving crashes.
- Eating or drinking. Many people use drive times to eat meals and fast food drive-through service simply adds to the problem. Reaching for and holding food while driving takes hands and eyes—and concentration—off the road.
- Adjusting controls. Adjusting the climate system or audio system also takes attention away from driving long enough to cause an accident.
- Adjusting other driver controls. When you first learned to drive, you were probably taught to adjust your seat and mirrors before starting the car. As adults, we tend to forget that. Adjusting mirrors and seats while you are driving down the road not only takes your attention from the road, but can also take your feet off the pedals.
- Moving objects in the car. Pets and insects moving in the car can interrupt the driver’s concentration and can even physically come between the driver and the car’s controls.
- Smoking-related activities. Lighting and holding a cigarette distract a driver from the driving task, as does reaching to put ashes in the car’s ashtray.
If You Are a Victim of a Distracted Driver, I Can Help
As you can see, many of these distracted driving actions could be difficult to prove in order to establish fault. While cellphones can be checked for activity by an officer responding to an accident, it’s not as easy to prove the other driver was daydreaming or adjusting the radio. If you know you were not even partially to blame in a crash, you need the help of an experienced car accident attorney to help you collect maximum compensation. Click the link on this page to connect to me now.