As a driver, it can often be easy to become distracted by things other than the road when behind the wheel. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), anything that requires an individual operating a motor vehicle to take their full attention off of anything other than the road is considered a driving distraction. The CDC classifies these distractions into three main categories:
- Manual - Anything that requires a driver's hands to be taken off of the wheel.
- Visual - Anything that requires a driver's eyes to be off of the road.
- Cognitive - Anything that takes a driver's mind off of the task of driving.
Although it’s highly inaccurate, it’s a common misconception that texting or being on their phones while driving is the only form of distracted driving. However, texting and driving is the most dangerous form of distracted driving because it is one of the few types that fall into all three categories. Therefore, when an individual is texting and driving, they significantly increase their chances of being involved in an auto accident.
Types of Distracted Driving
Many forms of distracted driving can occur, most of which can cause drivers to be distracted in different ways. The most commonly reported types of driving distractions include:
- Using GPS
- Grooming/doing makeup
- Tending to children or pets
- Getting caught up in emotions
- Adjusting climate controls
- Finding the right radio station
Avoiding Driving Distractions
Even though it may seem challenging, there are many ways to avoid driving distractions. When finding ways to stay focused while driving, it's important to consider adequate preparation. Doing things like getting ready a few minutes earlier than usual to allow extra time to eat or groom before getting in the car can be beneficial for drivers who are often distracted in these ways. When drivers struggle with fidgeting with the radio or music selection, preparing a playlist or making a cd can be a great way to minimize the need to change any music that might be playing.
Individuals struggling to stay off their phones while behind the wheel, even after utilizing the do not disturb options that are programmed into smartphones, may benefit from downloading safe driving apps. Companies like AT&T have created apps like these to help easily distracted drivers remain off their phones for the duration of their drive. Depending on what the app offers, they can typically limit the functionality of a driver's smartphone, silence all calls and texts, and much more. Some of these apps even send automated replies letting the person know that who they are trying to get in contact with is driving, and they will get in touch with them once they have arrived at their destination safely.
Drivers who struggle with keeping their attention on the road because they are traveling with children or pets can try to better prepare themselves before getting in the car by packing the child their favorite toys, books, or snacks.
Contact a Skilled Personal Injury Attorney
Being hit by a distracted driver and suffering from injuries can be devastating, especially when the sustained injuries are life-changing. It's easy to feel like you must go through this challenging time alone, but you don't have to. Our team at van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim wants you to know that we understand what you are going through and are here to help.
With years of experience handling distracted driving-related cases, we have what it takes to get you the justice you deserve while offering the support you need at every step. We are dedicated to the success of your case and are happy to take care of your legal matters while you take the time necessary to focus on optimal recovery. Let us be your voice.
Contact us today at (215) 486-0123, or visit us online to schedule your free consultation with one of our trusted legal experts.