Austin Personal Injury Blog

Distracted Driving Is Becoming a Much Bigger Problem Today

Posted By The Stewart Law Firm, PLLC || 25-Sep-2019

Distractions are everywhere in this world we live in. Whether it’s checking an email, replying to a text, or calling your friend, cellphones have become an integral part of many of our days. Because of our dependence on these devices, many people continue to use their phones while behind the wheel, which is considered distracted driving. However, cellphone usage, while being the most common, and dangerous form of distracted driving, is not the only form. In fact, there are many other distractions that fall under the distracted driving umbrella, many of which are done daily.

What Is Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving is anything that causes the driver to take their eyes off the road and onto something else. It’s important to note that these distractions are not only things that take your eyes away from the road, but also things that take your focus and physical self away from the wheel.

Types of Distracted Driving

Because of the many distractions within distracted driving, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) broke them down into three different categories:

Visual

These distractions are things that take your eyes away from the road. These distractions are said to be the most dangerous form of distracted driving, as many compare it to driving with your eyes closed.

“But I am able to text without putting myself and others in danger. I’m a fast texter and I only use my phone when going slow or when there is nobody in front of me.”

No matter what the distraction is, or how quickly you can accomplish your task, it only takes 3 seconds for an accident to happen.

Some of the most commonly seen forms of visual distractions include:

  • Using your cellphone

  • Applying make-up

  • Changing the radio

  • Updating your GPS

  • Turning to talk to your passengers

Manual

Manual distractions are those that cause you to take your hands away from the wheel. These distractions come in many forms and are some of the most commonly seen distractions behind the wheel. They include:

  • Using your cellphone

  • Eating

  • Applying make-up

  • Changing the radio

  • Searching for something

Cognitive

One of the least talked about forms of distracted driving is cognitive. Cognitive distractions are often seen as less serious because while you may be distracted mentally, you are still driving with your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel. However, these distractions are just as, if not more dangerous than the other 2 forms.

Cognitive distractions are those that cause your mind to wander away from your duty of driving. These distractions include:

  • Using your cellphone

  • Having a conversation (whether in person, on the phone, or using a hands-free device)

  • Getting too involved in a podcast

  • Being preoccupied with personal, family, or work-related problems

Cognitive distractions are so dangerous because driving safely and being able to predict possible hazards requires a lot of mental ability. Taking your attention away from the road means you won’t be able to think and act quickly in the event that something goes wrong. Additionally, it lessens your ability to make quick-witted decisions to protect not only yourself but the other drivers on the road.

Texting and Driving by the Numbers

Now that we understand the many forms of distractions, we want to shed some light on the statistics about the largest contributor to this problem—cellphone usage behind the wheel. You may have noticed above that using your cellphone falls under every category of distractions, which is what makes this distraction such a big issue. If that wasn’t enough to get you to put down your phone, here are some statistics about driving and using your cellphone:

  • Remember how long it takes for an accident to happen? That’s right, only 3 seconds. When you send a text message, your eyes are away from the road for around 5 seconds. While traveling at the average speed of 55mph, 5 seconds away from the road means you’ve traveled an entire football field with your eyes closed.

  • According to the NHTSA, there are 660,000 drivers using electronic devices while driving during the daytime.

  • The National Safety Council reports that cellphone distractions cause an average of 1.6 million accidents annually.

  • 1 out of every 4 accidents in the US is caused by cellphone use behind the wheel.

The Stewart Law Firm Understands the Severity of Distracted Driving

By now, it should be apparent that distracted driving is an act that is completely avoidable. This means that accidents caused by a distracted driver are nothing more than an act of negligence. At The Stewart Law Firm, we have been in the business of helping individuals injured by the negligence of others for many years. We believe that if you’ve been injured due to no fault of your own, that you need to be guaranteed the compensation necessary to fully recover, and return to your lifestyle before the accident.

Call us today {F:P:Site:Phone} to schedule your free case evaluation. We would love the opportunity to learn more about your accident and offer solutions to help you pursue the compensation you deserve.


Blog Home