There are many factors that increase the risk of auto accidents, including improper road signs, poor weather conditions, debris in the road, and faulty car parts. For these reasons, it is important that drivers devote their full attention to the road.
Unfortunately, many people fail to take driving as seriously as they should. Distracted driving is a leading cause of car accidents. These types of car accidents result in injuries, financial losses, and even death.
Here, the experienced auto accident attorneys at Reed & Terry, L.L.P. discuss some of the most common types of distracted driving that can lead to car crashes in the Richmond, TX area.
Texting While Driving
Texting while driving is easily the most common type of distracted driving. Although texting while driving has received a lot of negative attention, many drivers continue to read or respond to texts while driving.
Texting is particularly dangerous because it involves three forms of distraction: visual, manual, and cognitive. When people read or send a text, they are forced to take their eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, and mind off the task of driving.
Statistics suggest that it takes an average of five seconds to send a text. Although this doesn’t seem like a lot of time, a car driving at 55mph can travel the entire distance of a football field in that amount of time. Accident data shows that texting while driving significantly increases the risk of an auto accident and is even six times more likely to cause an accident than drunk driving.
Talking on a Cell Phone While Driving
Many states have passed hands-free laws. Unfortunately, even if a driver adheres to these laws, talking on a cell phone can still be distracting.
First, few Bluetooth systems are completely hands-free. Most drivers have to press buttons to start and stop the call, at a minimum.
Second, talking on a cell phone (even if it is hands-free) is still a cognitive distraction. When people are carrying on a conversation, their attention is split. Someone on a phone is less likely to notice possible hazards and are likely to have slower response times if they do need to maneuver to avoid an accident.
Eating or Drinking While Driving
Many people carry a drink with them in the car or have gone through a drive-thru and eaten their lunch while driving to work or an appointment. However, eating and drinking are distractions for drivers. Like texting, eating and drinking can take the eyes, hands, and mind off the car and road, even if for a brief time.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that eating while driving can increase the likelihood of a car crash by up to 80 percent.
Using a Navigation System
In this day and age, few people look up directions prior to driving to a new location. They simply plug the address into a phone or navigation system and wait for directions.
In theory, this is a great idea, and seems safer than trying to examine a map while driving. However, drivers must still be careful to avoid unnecessary distractions. It is important to type any address in prior to driving, and avoid constantly looking at the device for confirmation of directions.
If not used correctly, a navigation system can be another device that is a visual, manual, and cognitive distraction.
Distracted driving is a leading cause of car accidents on roads all across America. If you have been injured in an accident caused by distracted driving, you may be due financial compensation for your losses. To learn more about your legal rights following an auto accident, contact the experienced attorneys at Reed & Terry, L.L.P. at your earliest convenience.