Distracted driving has become the fastest-growing cause of car accidents in America. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 3,142 fatalities in 2019 caused by distracted driving. That figure represents nearly 9% of all traffic fatalities and a 10% increase from the previous year. To help you and the drivers in your household understand the causes of distracted driving, our distracted driving lawyers at Winstein, Kavensky & Cunningham offer a guide on what distracted driving is and how you can avoid it.
The Three Types of Distracted Driving
There are three major types of driving distractions: visual, manual, and cognitive. Here is a breakdown of what each type is, followed by examples.
Visual distractions are ones that make you take your eyes off of the road. Examples include:
- Looking at a traffic accident
- Gazing at scenery
- Turning to look at a passenger
- Looking at a GPS or phone screen
- Looking for an object that dropped to the floor
Manual distractions are ones that make you take your hands off of the steering wheel. These types of distractions include:
- Using your mobile phone or infotainment system
- Putting on makeup
- Reaching for dropped objects
Lastly, cognitive distractions are ones that take your focus away from driving. Examples of these distractions are:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Concentrating on a conversation instead of road conditions
- Driving while mentally or physically exhausted
- Driving after an emotional confrontation or event
Any one of these distractions could lead to a car accident. When combined, the resulting crash could lead to a catastrophic injury or wrongful death. Unfortunately, modern technology has many drivers using electronic devices that can easily combine all three types of distractions.
Mobile Phones Can Cause Major Distractions
Many experts believe that the increase in distracted driving accidents is linked to the advancements made in mobile phones. Prior to the smartphone era, people only worried about drivers talking and driving. As text messages became a more prevalent form of communication, texting and driving became an issue. These days, distracted drivers can do all of those things and more — play games, browse the Internet, do some online shopping, check out social media platforms, and more.
Almost all the modern activities people can do on mobile phones combine two or more types of the major distractions listed above. A distracted driver’s eyes will be focused on the screen, one or both of their hands will be on the phone, and their mind will be focused on whatever they’re doing on their phone instead of what’s happening on the road. It’s a recipe that could easily lead to a personal injury to other motorists and pedestrians, as well as the driver.
How Can I Avoid Driving Distractions?
Avoiding distracted driving is an easy thing to do on paper, but difficult for some people in practice. To help yourself become a better and safer driver, it’s a good idea to have a checklist of things you can do in order to stay focused on the road. They include:
- Keeping your eyes focused on the road and surrounding traffic
- Focusing on what’s immediately in front of you rather than what’s far away
- Keeping two hands on the steering wheel at all times
- Keeping conversations with passengers to a minimum
- Using voice commands to operate your phone or infotainment system
- Keeping music at a low to moderate volume level
- Entering your destination on a GPS or phone prior to driving
- Pulling over for a break to rest your eyes and refresh your mind
Injured By a Distracted Driver? Call Winstein, Kavensky & Cunningham.
The attorneys at Winstein, Kavensky & Cunningham hope that you have a better understanding of the causes of distracted driving. Please share this information with your friends and family, so that we can make Quad City roads safer for everyone. Unfortunately, not everyone will be as mindful and a distracted driver could crash into you. Injured in a Quad Cities distracted driving accident? Then, contact our distracted driving lawyers for immediate assistance.
You can reach the lawyers at Winstein, Kavensky & Cunningham 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (309) 794-1515, through the Internet via LiveChat, or by filling out this form. Consultations are free and we do not charge any fees unless your case is won. Our team dedicates time and resources to provide you with unsurpassed legal representation to help win you the compensation that you deserve. Don’t let the insurance companies take advantage of you after a Quad Cities distracted driving accident. Contact Winstein, Kavensky & Cunningham today.