Stressed Out? Studies Suggest Distracted Minds May Lead to Auto Accidents
In 2014, more than 3,000 people were killed and 431,000 were injured in vehicle accidents involving distracted drivers. At any given time during the day or night, about 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or other devices.
How long do people take their eyes off the road thanks to electronic distractions? About five seconds, one major study concluded. Traveling at an average speed of 55 miles per hour, that’s enough to cover the length of a football field – without looking at the road!
Major Distractions Drivers Need to Be Aware Of
The latest distracted driving statistics could give any driver pause. Distracted driving accidents are on the rise. And it’s not just electronic devices: Distracted driving can occur for a wide range of reasons and across all age groups.
Let’s take a closer look at major distractions:
Hands-free operation of cell phones has helped cut down on situations where a driver might be tempted to hold a phone to his or her ear. Even hands-free, however, the phone creates risk. When using GPS, drivers should activate voice instructions. Whenever possible, program your destination before you depart so you don’t have to set a new GPS waypoint in mid-drive.
Research shows drivers get involved in all kinds of distractions, even when no electronic devices are around. These include things like changing clothes, brushing teeth and applying makeup. One of the biggest culprits? Eating takeout food. Leave yourself enough time to prepare before a trip so these things get done. Consider going to bed early the night before any long drive.
Sad as it is to say, anything can become a hindrance to driving if it takes up your attention. Even having a conversation while operating a vehicle makes an accident more likely. Music is another major culprit, especially if it happens to be fast music. What’s the lesson? Limit distractions, even if they happen to be fun ones – especially at night and during tough weather.
Texting While Driving
It deserves to be said that texting while driving combines all three major distraction types. It can have devastating consequences both for the distracted driver and for others on the road. There’s no way to replace a life lost in an accident, so always avoid texting while driving. Remind your family and friends that texting can wait, too.
If You’ve Been in an Accident With a Distracted Driver, Salmu Law Can Help
A few seconds of distraction can have serious consequences. If you’ve been injured as the result of someone’s inattentive driving, you deserve expert legal representation.