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texting while driving

Dangers of Distracted Driving

By: Fred Moore | Oct 5, 2018

At Moore Law Firm, our motor vehicle accident attorney has seen the devastating consequences of injuries caused by distracted drivers. Sometimes distractions are unavoidable, but there are many things you can do to keep your focus on driving and keep yourself and others safe.

What Is Distracted Driving?

When a driver engages in a secondary activity that interferes with the primary task of driving a vehicle, it is considered distracted driving. There are three categories in which driver distraction typically falls:

  • Visual — averting your eyes from the road
  • Physical — removing your hands from the steering wheel
  • Cognitive taking your attention away from the actual task of driving

Secondary task distraction takes a driver’s attention away from driving. This type of distraction includes using a smartphone, putting on makeup, eating, smoking or dealing with pets or children in the vehicle.

Driving-related inattention occurs when you look down at the speedometer, check mirrors, or glance behind or away before changing lanes or parking.

Non-specific driver inattention happens when a motorist looks away from the roadway but at no specific object, person or activity.

Drowsiness can also be considered a distraction, as it involves closing your eyes, yawning and even falling asleep at the wheel.

Distracted Driving Leads To Thousands Of Injuries And Deaths Each Year

According to the NHTSA, distracted driving claimed 3,450 lives in 2016 alone. Failing to keep your attention on the road can lead to accidents such as head-on collisions, sideswipes and rear-end collisions that can cause serious injury and death.

There are countless ways in which drivers may be distracted by things inside or outside of their vehicle, but smartphones, GPS and other electronic devices have caused many people to become more even more distracted when they’re on the road. Some top causes of distracted driving and motor vehicle accidents include:

  • Talking on the phone
  • Texting or checking social media
  • Using GPS devices
  • Using the radio, CD and DVD players
  • Daydreaming
  • Talking with other passengers in the car
  • Operating vehicle controls such as windshield wipers, lights, heat and air conditioning
  • Eating or drinking
  • Smoking
  • Gawking at car accidents, billboards or other objects

How To Avoid Distracted Driving

Putting in the effort to pay attention while driving makes the roads safer for everyone. These tips can help keep your focus on the important job of operating your vehicle:

  • Put your phone away. If you do need to answer a call or text, pull off the road and stop at a safe place.
  • Learn how to use your car’s features such as windshield wipers, heat and CD player/radio without taking your eyes off the road.
  • Enter an address or location in GPS before you get on the road. Make sure audio turn-by-turn directions are on and easy to hear.
  • Keep conversation calm, cool and collected while driving.
  • Don’t let your pets or children distract you while driving — if you need to deal with someone or something, pull over.
  • Don’t eat or drink while driving.
  • Make sure you get plenty of sleep before driving. If you’re drowsy on the road, find a safe place to rest.

If you’ve been injured or have lost a loved one in an accident with a distracted driver, our motor vehicle accident attorney can help. Call Moore Law Firm at 251-445-7602 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.