Distracted driving occurs any time a driver takes their eyes off the road, hands off the wheel or mind off the task of driving. Drivers engage in secondary tasks during more of half of their time spent driving – an action that is a factor in more than one million national car crashes and 16% of fatal crashes annually. A visual aid like an infographic helps some see just how dangerous distracted driving is.
The top five most dangerous driving distractions are as follows, beginning with the most dangerous:
1. Cell phone use: With technology at our fingertips, using cell phones for all types of purposes while driving has become very tempting. Texting while driving takes a driver’s eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, and increases the chances of a crash by 23%.
2. Reaching for moving objects inside the vehicle: Cell phones falling under seats, rolling water bottles and crying children in the back seat are all dangerous distractions that must be dealt with when the car is in the parked position.
3. Looking at objects or events outside of the vehicle: Also known as “rubbernecking,” this action can occur when there is an accident on the side of the road, a funny billboard or beautiful scenery. As the third most dangerous distracted driving behavior, many new models of vehicles have come equipped with technology to hinder this behavior, but it is important for you, as the driver, to correct this behavior.
4. Reading: It’s not common for drivers to be engrossed in a chapter of their favorite book while driving, however drivers often check text messages, Facebook statuses or the name of the song that just came on the radio.
5. Applying makeup: Female drivers who get on the road in a hurry often bring their makeup with them. Vanity does not take precedence over safety, so it is imperative for drivers to get this done before leaving the house.
Distracted driving is an easily corrected behavior that costs the U.S. nearly $40 billion each year. Thirty-nine states have a current ban on texting while driving, but that only begins to address the concerns of distracted driving and road safety. In order to stop distracted driving everyone is going to need to do there part. Driving is not a right, it’s a responsibility and it should be treated with a single-minded focus. After all, the person behind the wheel is navigating a 4,000-pound machine at 70 mph, and if the driver doesn’t pay attention, some one could get hurt or even killed. If you or someone you love has suffered a serious injury as a result of a distracted driving accident, contact an attorney that has extensive experience handling distracted driving cases.