Distracted driving is a serious problem that must be quelled quickly. It is a preventable issue that, tragically, leads to catastrophic injuries for innocent people. Understanding a bit about distracted driving can help to curb the problem.
There are several points that people should understand about this before they get behind the wheel. If everyone took steps to avoid distracted driving, the roads would be a bit safer. Here are some important reminders:
Variety of distractions
A distraction is anything that takes away a driver’s ability to drive. These are divided into three categories:
- Cognitive: Takes the driver’s mind off the road.
- Visual: Takes the driver’s eyes off the road.
- Manual: Takes the driver’s hands off the road.
The issue that many driver’s face is that some distractions will impact more than one of these areas. This makes it incredibly difficult for them to keep control of the vehicle and drive safely.
Distractions occur within the vehicle but can also happen outside. Some of the more common ones that drivers have to deal with include:
- Vehicle occupants
- In vehicle entertainment, GPS, climate control
- Billboards, road signage
- Eating or drinking
- Personal grooming, makeup
- Reaching for items
- Deep thoughts
As you can imagine, it is really easy for drivers to be distracted while they are behind the wheel. Even a short period of distraction can have tremendous safety risks. A vehicle that is going 55 miles per hour travels the length of a football field, or 125 yards, in only five seconds. On average, it takes a person about five seconds to check a text.
Combatting the issue
States, including New Jersey, have passed laws to prevent distracted driving. Even when a situation isn’t covered by the laws, drivers should still avoid driving if they are distracted by anything, including their own thoughts.
All motorists on the road should pay attention to how other drivers are behaving. If you see someone who is driving unsafely, try to avoid that person if you can. This might be enough to save you from being involved in a crash.
People who are involved in a crash with a distracted driver are likely going to be upset and shaken up after the crash. Be sure that you file a police report and get medical care for your injuries.
If you must answer questions about the crash, don’t say anything that might be construed as an admission of fault. Statements as seemingly harmless as “I’m sorry this happened” might be interpreted as you taking the blame for the accident. One of your priorities when you are hit by a distracted driver is to protect your right and ability to seek compensation for the damages you suffer.