In the United States alone, distracted driving accounts for approximately nine deaths and more than 1,100 injuries every single day. Although texting is often the first type of distracted driving to come to mind, any activity that diverts your attention from the road is considered distracted driving. The most common forms of distraction include talking on a cell phone, texting, eating, adjusting stereo and navigational systems, and talking to other passengers in the vehicle.
Visual, Manual, and Cognitive Distraction
You can become visually, manually, or cognitively distracted while driving. Visual distraction occurs when you take your eyes off the road. Manual distraction occurs when you take your hands off the wheel. However, you can still be distracted with your eyes focused on the road and your hands placed firmly on the wheel. Cognitive distraction occurs when your mind is on something other than driving. Sometimes referred to as “zoning out,” cognitive distraction can be just as dangerous.
What Age Group Has the Highest Risk?
Certain activities tend to take the driver’s attention away from the road for longer periods of time than other distractions. Texting is a perfect example. Additionally, drivers under the age of 20 are at an increased risk for fatal distraction-related crashes. Unfortunately, drivers in this age group also make up the lion’s share of distraction-related accidents. In fact, almost half of all high school students in the United States have admitted to texting while driving. When texting, a person’s eyes are typically off the road for an average of five seconds, which means at speeds of 55 miles per hour, a driver can cover the length of a football field before returning his or her attention to the road.
Is Hands-Free Safer?
It’s also important to understand that hands-free does not mean risk free. With more and more states adopting hands-free laws, there is a general misconception that hands-free devices are safe while driving. Cognitive distraction is just as possible with a hands-free device as with a regular, hand-held device. In fact, the false sense of security may actually increase the risk. Do yourself and everyone else on the road a favor – keep your phone in the glove box while you’re driving. If you must take or make a call, or text someone, find a safe area to pull off the road and do so.
Carey, Danis, & Lowe – St. Louis Motor Vehicle Accident Attorneys
If you’ve been injured in an accident involving a distracted driver, you have rights. You may be entitled to compensation for injuries and damages, including medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, vehicle damage, and transportation costs. At Carey, Danis & Lowe, our team of personal injury attorneys will work tirelessly to protect your rights and help you get the compensation you deserve. Don’t suffer in silence. We have an impressive record of winning personal injury cases, and the compassion and understanding to give each of our clients the personal attention they deserve. Contact Carey, Danis & Lowe for a free consultation today.