Motorists imperil themselves and others when they drive distracted, and smart phones aren’t the only things that tempt our attention away. We have an obligation to anticipate what is likely to cause a collision so we can best protect ourselves and others. Below, our Columbus car accident lawyer breaks down the danger behind the most common driving distractions.
Being Lost in Thought
While many people assume that using a phone behind the wheel is the biggest distraction for drivers, it’s actually not. According to the Fatality Analysis Reporting System that examines police report data, the biggest distraction for drivers is simply being lost in thought. Driving while fatigued and driving for long periods of time without taking a break quickly lulls us into losing touch with our surroundings.
Using a Smartphone
The use of smartphones was widely adopted in the United States in 2008. Before then, the number of traffic fatalities was dropping, but they’ve been tragically increasing ever since 2009. According to the National Safety Council in the United States, smartphone usage accounts for 27 percent of all traffic accidents.
The occupants in a vehicle can also be a major distraction for drivers, a fact which is particularly true for young drivers. Regardless of age however, the more passengers that are in a vehicle, the more the driver is likely to become distracted.
Outside surroundings can be incredibly distracting for drivers, whether it’s a billboard, other drivers, or a nearby accident. Some studies have shown that drivers spend over half of their time behind the wheel looking at their external surroundings instead of the road. Of all these distractions, rubbernecking is the most common and the most dangerous. Rubbernecking occurs when a driver willingly stares at something in the outside surroundings rather than focusing on the road.
Eating and Drinking
While it may seem like a timesaver to eat or drink while you are on the road, it is far from a good idea. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, eating or drinking while behind the wheel increases your risk of an accident or a near-miss accident by almost 39 percent.
Adjusting Vehicle Controls
Just as using a phone behind the wheel requires a driver to take their attention off the road, so too does adjusting vehicle controls in the car. Climate, audio, and seat controls all force our eyes away from oncoming traffic. Drivers should always adjust these controls before they start moving.
Our Car Accident Lawyer in Columbus Can Help After a Crash
If you have been hurt due to a negligent driver, it is important to pinpoint any distraction that caused the crash so you can better prove your case. At Oliver Law Office, our Columbus car accident lawyer knows what evidence to collect that will prove your case so you obtain the fair settlement you deserve. Call or text us now at 614-220-9100 or chat with us online to request a free consultation and to learn more.
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