Distracted driving is one of the biggest threats United States roads currently face, so it is important to know how to protect yourself.
Car accidents claim the lives of thousands of U.S. citizens every year and most of them are the result of distracted driving. The dangers of this deadly choice speak for themselves, so all drivers must educate themselves on how to stay focused while behind the wheel.
Types of Distractions
There are many different reasons your attention might drift from the road. Common actions like using a navigation system or eating food can sidetrack a driver enough to cause serious damage or injury. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3142 lives were lost in 2019 due to distracted driving alone.
This deadly act has been described by the CDC in three categories:
- Visual – This is anything that takes your eyes off the road.
- Manual – Distractions that take your hands off the wheel.
- Cognitive – Distractions that take your mind away from driving.
Texting while driving is especially dangerous because it incorporates all three types of distraction. If you take your eyes off the road to read a message, at least one hand also leaves the wheel. In addition, all mental focus is pulled from the road as you read the text and think about how to respond.
Who Is at Risk?
According to a recent study by the CDC, young adults and teens ranked the highest group at risk for distracted driving.
- 25 percent of these fatalities fell between the ages of 20-29.
- Drivers between the ages of 15-19 were determined more likely to be distracted than drivers 20 and older.
- 9 percent of all teens that died in motor vehicle accidents in 2018 were caused by distracted driving.
How to Prevent Distracted Driving
For drivers, it is crucial to avoid multitasking while operating a vehicle. Before you pull your car into “drive”, make sure the mirrors are adjusted, navigation is set up, and music is picked out. There are also apps involving cell phone blocking technology available for download to further help with this problem.
Preventing distracting driving is not solely the responsibility of the driver; passengers need to be aware as well. If you notice that their mind or eyes are elsewhere, do not be afraid to speak up as it may save your life. Passengers can also step in to help drivers with navigation and music selections.
As mentioned previously, teenage drivers pose the highest risk for distracted driving. Parents and guardians need to take an active role in educating their children on the risks and ways to prevent driving while preoccupied.
Call Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton Personal Injury Lawyers
If you or a loved one has been the victim of reparations resulting from distracted driving, Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton can help. We have spent over 25 years supporting Utah citizens in gaining fair compensation after car accidents and our lawyers are eager to help you with your case.
We have offices in Provo, Orem, Saratoga Springs, and West Jordan, Utah. Give us a call today to get in touch with a car accident lawyer that will be by your side every step of the way.