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Personal Injury Blog

COMMON DRIVER DISTRACTIONS

Posted May 16, 2017 in Uncategorized
DISTRACTED DRIVING
Cell phone usage, and texting in particular, is on the front line of the conversation about distracted driving. Rightfully so, the statistics are staggering. In the United States, 64% of road accidents involve a cell phone. There are other issues as well, as  nearly 1 in 5 car crashes involve a driver distracted by something other than the road. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are three distinct types of distractions while driving:
1. Visual: taking your eyes off the road
2. Manual: taking your hands off the wheel
3. Cognitive: taking your mind off driving
Some of the most common distractions involve one or more of the above factors, making for a very serious and potentially deadly combination.
THE MOST COMMON DISTRACTIONS
Cell Phones: From answering a call to sending a text, cell phones are the leading cause of distracted driving.  It is so dangerous, experts say that texting while driving is 6x more likely to cause an accident than drunk driving. Using a cell phone can distract a driver visually, manually, and cognitively.
GPS Devices: As well intentioned as they are, GPS devices are just as deadly to use as a cell phone, as they also require visual, manual, and cognitive attention.
Adjusting Car Stereos: Changing the radio station, searching for the auxiliary cord, turning up the volume. These small and common adjustments to a car stereo can distract a driver just long enough to cause repercussions. Adjusting a car stereo affects a driver’s ability to visually and manually stay in control. Preset stations, steering wheel controls, and exercising common sense can help reduce accidents caused by changing the stereo.
Passengers: Whether talking to your co-pilot, or scolding your fighting kids, other passengers in the vehicle pose one of the largest cognitive distractions to drivers.
Eating and Drinking: Eating in the car is as American as apple pie. But according to a UK insurance provider, it is as dangerous as using a cell phone. Eating distracts a diver visually, manually, and even cognitively as it raises the mental workload required to juggle the demands of safe driving.
The above factors are some of the most common causes of distracted driving, but there are many others. During a routine drive, there are countless other things that can, if even for a second, potentially distract someone from driving safely. These include, smoking, grooming, searching for something, driving with intense emotions, etc.

Distracted is one of the most common causes of car accidents. While most people know that they should focus all of their attention on the road, some can’t help getting distracted by one thing or another sometimes. The following are some common driver distractions. A Des Moines IA car accident lawyer can discuss the details of your case.

Smartphones

In this digital age, many of us are attached to our smartphones. While it’s okay to use your smartphone throughout the day, you should leave it be while you are behind the wheel. If you make a phone call or send a text message while you are driving, it could divert your attention from the road ahead of you, increasing the risk of an accident. If you think you will have a difficult time staying off your cell phone while you drive, put it out of reach, such as in the backseat.

Music

Listening to music can make your drive more relaxing and pleasant. It can also be a distraction. If you are frequently changing radio stations or selecting songs on your iPod, it can take your focus off the road.

Eating 

Many of us are always on the go and may sometimes eat behind the wheel to save some time. However, munching on a sandwich or hamburger in the car is not only messy; it is also a huge distraction. When you are eating something, you have to take at least one hand off the wheel, which may cause you to lose control of your vehicle. To avoid getting into an accident, wait to eat when you are no longer driving.

Grooming

If you are in a hurry in the morning, you may be tempted to groom yourself in the car. Whether you are putting on making or brushing your hair, grooming while behind the wheel is dangerous because you are taking at least one of your hands off the wheel and not looking at the road ahead of you. Avoid conducting grooming activities in the car, no matter how pressed you are for time.

Pets

If you have a dog or cat, he may go for car rides with your sometimes. However, loose pets inside a car can be a huge distraction. If your furry companion crawls on your lap while you’re driving, it can take your attention away from the road. That is why you should consider purchasing a specially designed pet seat belt for your furry friend.

Daydreaming

Daydreaming is something most of us do from time to time, but it can be a distraction while you are driving. If you are thinking about your plans for the weekend or what you want to eat for dinner, you will not be focused on the road ahead of you. Try not to daydream when you are behind the wheel.

If you were hurt in a car accident that involved a distracted driver, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact a reputable car accident lawyer Des Moines IA clients recommend from Des Moines Injury Law to discuss your options.

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