There’s little doubt that distracted driving poses a substantial risk to anyone on public roads. Even the most attentive and careful driver could end up in a crash after crossing paths with someone distracted behind the wheel. The results could include serious injuries or even a death, as well as damage to the vehicles involved. Many states, including New Jersey, work hard to enforce laws against distracted driving, but it still happens.
While distracted driving is risky all year round, it is particularly dangerous during winter weather conditions. The winter roads can be incredibly unforgiving about any failure to control your vehicle and successfully notice upcoming issues, like a patch of ice ahead. This increased risk does little to prevent other drivers from distractions, sadly. Although you may drive carefully in winter weather, others may not.
People may need to text or call because they are running late
When there’s snow or ice on the roads, the average speed of travel drops. For those who don’t leave early to offset this increased driving time, the risk of arriving late at work is a real concern. When people realize that they won’t make it to their work by starting time, they will probably pick up their cellphone to text or call their manager.
Doing so could prevent a write-up at work, but it could also result in a collision with another vehicle or sliding into a ditch. That’s why it’s so important to add time to your usual commute to ensure that you arrive in plenty of time to your destination. The time crunch that results from snowy roads is only one issues that can extend winter drive times. People who park outside may need to wait for their car to heat up or spend time scraping snow and ice from their windshield, windows and lights.
Distractions make people think they’re making up lost time
All of that extra time in the morning, if not accounted for, could result in getting written up at work or other disciplinary action. Commuters, on seeing the condition of their car or the roads, could cut certain morning habits short, attempting to handle things like eating breakfast, putting on a tie or even applying make-up while en route to work.
Speeding to make up for slower traffic or taking your eyes off the road to engage in any other activity could have catastrophic consequences. It only takes a second to miss a vehicle skidding in front of you. Even if you take precautions, such as leaving early and never taking your eyes off the road or hands off the wheel, you risk encountering another driver who is not so concerned with safety.
The end result could be missed work, damage to your vehicle and mounting medical bills. If another driver’s distraction ended up causing you injury or losses, you may want to explore your options for compensation, including a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver.