Distracted driving is a serious problem in this country. Around 8 people are killed in the United States each day because of a driver who was too distracted to operate a vehicle safely. This is an atrocity because every one of these accidents could have been prevented.
Every driver in this country who gets behind the wheel must ensure that they’re in the right shape mentally and physically to drive. They can’t let anything distract them from that important duty.
Some people don’t realize that even small distractions can have a big impact on safety. Things that you don’t realize are distractions can really be distractions.
Three Categories of Distractions
The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that there are three categories of distractions. Some actions fall under only one of these categories but others fall under two or three. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter how many they fall under. The bottom line is that they’re too dangerous for drivers to do while they’re operating a moving vehicle.
Manual distractions are ones that require a driver to take one or both hands off the wheel. This can be as simple as skipping a song on the radio. It’s safest for drivers to have both hands on the wheel at all times.
Cognitive distractions are the ones that make the driver take their mind off driving. This is sometimes a tricky form of distraction because it can include things like being worried about someone in the hospital or thinking about an upcoming test. When those thoughts are all-consuming, they can be a distraction.
Visual distractions require the driver to stop looking at the road and look somewhere else. One of the tasks that shock people the most that fall into this category is looking at billboards. Those roadside advertisements are alluring, but drivers shouldn’t ever stop looking at the road.
The 5-Second Rule
Some people falsely assume that just because a distraction is short, it isn’t dangerous. Think about this: It only takes approximately five seconds to either read or reply to a text message. If you’re driving, a lot can happen in five seconds.
Cellphone usage typically causes all three types of distractions. You have to pick up the phone, which is a manual distraction. You have to look at the phone, which is a visual distraction. You have to think about what the text says or what your reply will be, which is a cognitive distraction.
In those seemingly short five seconds, a vehicle that’s moving at a speed of 55 miles per hour will go the full length of a football field. This means that a driver has driven that far while distracted. In the distance of 100 yards, many crashes can occur.
When a Crash Occurs
Distracted drivers can injure or kill innocent people. When these crashes occur, the victim must ensure they get the health care they need. Another thing they need to consider is seeking compensation. Each state has specific laws for how long victims have to file this legal claim, so it’s best to get started on the matter as quickly as possible after a crash.
Working with the best injury attorney can help you to ensure that you’re seeking all the compensation you’re due. You must file for all the compensation you’re ever going to need to cover the expenses of the crash. Once your case is settled or has an award issued, you can’t ask for more money. This is a bit tricky because you have to ensure that you think carefully about your future medical care costs.