What Makes Distracted Driving So Dangerous?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving accidents were responsible for 3,477 fatalities and 391,000 injuries in 2015 alone. Furthermore, at any time during the day, it is estimated that 660,000 people are using their cell phones while driving. With the risk of injuries and death so high, the NHTSA is taking steps to educate the public on the dangers of distracted driving. Furthermore, the National Safety Council has declared the month of April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month, launching a new advertising campaign titled, "Just Drive." They encourage drivers to focus on the road and to avoid distractions at all costs.

There Are Three Main Types of Distracted Driving

What many people don’t realize is that distracted driving involves a lot more than using a phone. There are actually three main categories of distractions: visual, manual, and cognitive. It is important to avoid all types of distractions while behind the wheel, and to do your part to make the roads a safer place.

Distracted driving involves:

  • Visual Distractions. These include anything that takes your eyes off the road. Looking at the scenery, glancing down at a cell phone or GPS, or looking at someone in the car all count as visual distractions.
  • Manual Distractions. These include anything that takes one or both hands off the wheel. Holding a drink or sandwich, reaching into the backseat, fiddling with A/C or radio controls, texting, and searching your purse or wallet for something are examples of manual distractions.
  • Cognitive Distractions. These include anything that takes your mind off of driving. Daydreaming, thinking about work or family issues, and having a heated argument with a passenger all count as cognitive distractions.

The Importance of Avoiding Distractions

While driving, the conditions around you could change in an instant. A car could pull into your lane, the light could turn red, or the car in front of you may punch the brakes. If your eyes are not on the road, or your hands are not on the wheel, you will be unable to see these changing circumstance and take appropriate action. In order to stay safe and avoid a collision, you must be alert and aware of your surroundings at all times.

Tips to Avoid Distracted Driving

In order to avoid distracted driving, there are several steps you can take before getting on the road. You should adjust all mirrors, as well as A/C and radio controls, before you start to drive. It is also a good idea to turn your phone off, or to have a passenger check it for you while on the road. If you do need to check your phone or send a message, you should pull over in a safe location and park. While cognitive distractions are harder to avoid, you can still make the effort to mentally focus on the road and to avoid heated discussions with passengers until you reach your destination.

If You Have Been Injured in a Car Crash, Koenigsberg & Associates Law Offices Is Here to Help

At Koenigsberg & Associates Law Offices, we believe negligent or distracted drivers must be held accountable in court. Our Brooklyn car accident attorneys have more than 20 years of combined experience. Throughout the legal process, we will gather evidence and tenaciously pursue justice for your case.

Contact our office today to receive a free consultation. We are available around the clock for your convenience.

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