A motor vehicle accident can happen in an instant and it could change a person’s life forever. One of the most common causes of accidents today involves distracted driving.
These types of accidents tend to cause serious crashes because the driver often fails to brake or only brakes at the final moment before impact.
The Centers for Disease Control defines distracted driving as engaging in an activity that takes the driver’s attention away from driving. This action increases the risk of a motor vehicle accident. Statistics show that distracted driving kills about eight people a day in the U.S.
Distracted driving makes the roadways more dangerous for everyone. Three main categories of distracted driving exist:
- Visual distractions that take a person’s eyes off the road
- Manual distractions that result in the removal of hands from the steering wheel
- Cognitive distractions that cause drivers to lose focus on driving
Specific examples of distracted driving include speaking on a cell phone, texting on a phone, eating food that requires one or both hands, and thinking about complex issues. The information shows that young people between the ages of 16-30 are at the highest risk for distracted driving.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that distracted driving claimed 3,142 lives in 2019. Of all the many possible distractions, the NHTSA cited texting as the most dangerous activity. On average, texting takes a driver’s eyes off the road for five seconds. A person traveling at 55 mph will go 100 yards down the road in that time.
Any activity that interferes with driving results in dangers. Using a cell phone or fiddling with a GPS device while driving increases the likelihood of a motor vehicle accident. Distracted drivers involved in an accident may be liable for injuries sustained in the accident in addition to vehicle and property damage.