Pay Attention to Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is one of the most common dangerous behaviors you will see. Cell phones are a major contributor, but distracted driving is older than that. The problem is easy to identify, but hard to solve. That’s because almost every driver is guilty of the practice sooner or later. Every driver knows it’s dangerous, yet they often do it anyway.
In 2019, 3,142 people died because of distracted driving according to the NHTSA. That is around 9% of all deaths caused by car and truck crashes. In addition to those deaths, hundreds of thousands of people are injured in crashes involving distracted drivers.
A disproportionate number of distracted drivers involves younger drivers. According to the CDC, 39% of high school students who drive reported texting or emailing while driving at least once in the past month. That behavior actually increases from age 16 to age 18. This points to a major contributor to distracted driving, which is overconfidence.
One phrase used to describe distraction is having your mind wander. It’s not something people think of as intentional behavior. Drivers are purposefully ignoring safe driving. Instead, they have allowed something else to draw their attention. This is more likely to occur when drivers are confident, or even lackadaisical, in their driving.
Some people come to believe that they hold the key to safe distracted driving. Texting and driving is dangerous, but only when done by other drivers who don’t have my skill. There is no evidence for this. You are either focused on driving safely, or you are not driving safely.
The CDC reports that there are three types of distracted behavior that lead to distracted driving accidents. Any activity that involves these three should be avoided:
- Taking your eyes off the road
- Taking your mind off of driving
- Taking your hands off the wheel
Consider these three elements in relation to texting:
- Can you text without looking at the phone?
- Can you text without thinking about what you are texting?
- Can you text with both hands on the wheel?
The answer to at least one of these, if not all three, is no. That is why texting while driving is universally considered unsafe.
Less obvious distracted driving behaviors include adjusting your mirrors, eating, listening to music or podcasts, and even talking with a passenger. How many drivers have the discipline to avoid all of these while behind the wheel?
Sadly, even when you choose to drive safely, you cannot affect other drivers’ behaviors. When someone injures you because they were driving distracted, you need legal help.
At Ted B. Lyon & Associates in Dallas, we have extensive experience helping distracted driving car accident victims. If you have been injured by a distracted driver, call our skilled lawyers at 866-503-4864 or send us a message.
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