The Dangers of Distracted Driving
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, as many as 391,000 people are injured in accidents caused by distracted driving every year, while approximately 3,477 of those injured parties lose their lives. Although Ohio, along with the majority of other states, has taken steps to discourage distracted driving, distraction-related accidents continue to occur, causing thousands of preventable injuries. Fortunately, car accident victims who are injured as a result of someone else’s distracted driving are eligible to collect compensation to cover their losses. However, doing so without legal representation can be difficult, so if you were involved in an accident caused by someone else’s failure to pay attention to the road, please contact a car accident attorney who will aggressively represent your interests, whether in negotiations or in the courtroom.
What Constitutes a Distraction?
There are a variety of different behaviors that fall under the broad category of “distractions.” However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are three main types of distractions, which include:
- Manual distractions, which involve a driver taking his or her hands off of the wheel, even momentarily;
- Visual distractions, which involve a driver taking his or her eyes off of the road for any amount of time; and
- Cognitive distractions, which take a driver’s attention and focus off of the act of driving itself.
Many distracting activities fall under a single category, but most satisfy at least two, and often three of these definitions. For example, adjusting in-vehicle technologies, such as a GPS or radio, not only takes a driver’s hands off of the wheel, but also involves cognitive and sometimes, visual distractions. Texting, in particular, has proven dangerous because it clearly involves all three types of distractions. In fact, one Virginia Tech study found that texting while behind the wheel makes it 2,300 times more likely that a driver will be involved in some sort of collision, as sending or reading a text message takes a driver’s eyes off of the road for around five seconds, which at 55 mph, is long enough to drive the length of a football field.
Other distracting activities that fall under one or more of the CDC’s categories and regularly cause accidents include:
- Adjusting hair or doing make-up;
- Driving while fatigued;
- Attending to children or pets in the backseat;
- Eating and drinking;
- Talking to passengers;
- Listening to loud music;
- Smoking; and
Although these activities are the most commonly reported forms of distracted driving, essentially any activity qualifies as a distraction if it impedes a driver’s ability to focus on driving.
Call Today to Schedule a Free Consultation with a Dedicated Car Accident Attorney
Accidents caused by distracted driving tend to have especially devastating consequences, as they almost always occur at high speeds, with no attempt from the at-fault driver to brake or swerve out of the way. Resulting injuries tend to be both painful and expensive to treat, making it particularly important for those who were injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver to contact one of the experienced car accident lawyers at Lafferty, Gallagher & Scott, LLC by calling 419-241-5500 today. A member of our legal team is standing by to help you through each step of your case.