Over 3,500 people lost their lives in 2021 as a result of a distracted driver, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association. Any activity that takes a driver’s attention away from the road is a distraction.
Many people don’t realize that talking to the person next to them or taking a drink of water while behind the wheel distracts them, but it does.
Sadly, something as simple as hitting a button on the navigation system could lead to the loss of life. What does every driver need to know about distracted driving and its dangers?
Texting and Driving
Texting remains the most dangerous form of distracted driving today, as seen on atlantaadvocate.com. A person who decides to text while driving at 55 miles per hour will take their eyes off the road for five seconds.
When doing so, they will travel 100 yards or the distance of a professional football field. A lot can go wrong in that short time.
Answering a handheld phone can be just as dangerous, so people must think long and hard before doing anything with a mobile device while behind the wheel. Once a life is lost, it cannot be changed. Is a phone call or text really worth it?
It Starts at Home
Parents need to model proper cell phone use when behind the wheel of a car. They may not realize their children will mimic what they do. Leave the cell phone put away or use hands-free features only.
Talk to kids about the dangers of driving and talking or texting.
Parents also need to explain to their children that a distracted driving charge on their driving record could lead to a delay in the child getting full driving privileges.
The state may put a halt to this as a result of the distracted driving charge.
Traffic and Road Conditions
When road and traffic conditions are less than ideal, distracted driving becomes more dangerous. Heavy traffic means there is less room to maneuver to avoid a collision.
Taking one’s eyes off the road for even a minute can lead to a multi-car pileup. Remember this when going to change a radio station or grab a bite of food from your lunch or dinner. Always wait until the car has come to a complete stop in traffic before doing so.
It may be fun to go fast on winding roads, but you must keep your eyes on the road the entire time. Imagine a deer darting out from the woods.
Will you be able to react quickly if you turn to look at your child in the back seat? The speed of the vehicle and the collision with a deer are a recipe for disaster.
When driving in bad weather, reduce your speed and be very careful. Road conditions may deteriorate rapidly, making it harder to stop. Hydroplaning is a concern along with high water when it is raining heavily. During the winter months, black ice can lead to a serious accident that nobody saw coming.
Any distraction increases the risk of something going wrong when the weather is bad, so be extra vigilant to avoid a serious accident and the possibility of severe injuries or death.
What Can Happen if Someone Drives While They Are Distracted?
Several things may go wrong when a person drives while they are distracted. Many rear-end collisions are the result of distracted driving.
A person might not stop quickly enough and rear-end someone because they were distracted. It might also be that they were stopped, became distracted, and let their foot off the brake.
The car then moved forward and hit the vehicle in front of it. Fortunately, many of these accidents are only minor fender benders, but that is not always the case.
A distracted driver might run a red light or stop sign and t-bone another vehicle. This can lead to serious injuries or even death, as many vehicles do not have airbags on the sides, particularly older models.
A driver who is distracted may drift into another lane and sideswipe another vehicle or force that vehicle off the road. These are only a few of many things that can go wrong with a person’s focus isn’t solely on driving. Why is this a concern?
Injuries That May Be Seen in a Distracted Driving Accident
Depending on the severity of the crash, individuals involved in a distracted driving accident may have minor injuries, catastrophic injuries, or something in between.
Minor injuries could be a few bumps and bruises. A catastrophic injury, in contrast, could be full-body paralysis or a traumatic brain injury that the victim may never fully recover from.
Broken bones, internal injuries, and soft tissue injuries may also be seen in those involved in the crash.
People need to understand how dangerous it is to take their eyes off the road for even a second and think twice before doing so, regardless of what speed the vehicle is traveling at.
Additional Consequences of the Accident
When a person is injured in an accident, they will need medical care. They may be unable to work or might need to take time off to attend medical appointments. This time off may lead to lost wages.
In addition, with many injuries, the victim will not be able to complete routine tasks, such as cleaning the house. If they were not responsible for the accident, they should not be responsible for these additional expenses.
Victims often turn to an attorney for help in securing compensation for any injuries sustained in the accident and additional expenses related to these injuries.
Some people worry about hiring a lawyer, as they already have medical bills to pay and they have probably missed some time from work. They see how the accident is impacting their finances and worry that hiring an attorney will add another bill to the pile.
Most attorneys work on a contingency basis, which means they only get paid if they win. They take a percentage of the funds they win for the victim, so a person has nothing to lose simply by talking to an attorney.
Reach out today to learn how this professional can be of help.