Distracted driving has become a focal point for driver safety concerns. The most recent annual government data reports that almost 3,500 people die in accidents attributed to distracted driving and almost another 400,000 sustain serious auto accident injuries.
What Is Distracted Driving?
Anything that takes attention away from the road in front of a driver is a distraction. The types of distraction can be broken into three categories:
- Visual: Looking at anything besides the road
- Manual: Not keeping the hands on the wheel for any reason
- Cognitive: Focusing mentally on things other than driving
All of these factors come into play with distracted driving, often in combination. What results from any of these can be a serious, if not fatal, auto accident injury.
Here are the top 10 types of distractions that cause driving accidents in New York State:
Nearly 62% of distracted driving accidents happen due to daydreaming or mentally focusing on other matters without paying attention to the road.
- Cell Phones
Dialing, texting, reading, and talking on a cell phone contributes to 12% of all accidents.
- Looking Elsewhere
Rubber-necking at accidents and allowing oneself to be distracted by nearby drivers, pedestrians, or animals is a factor in 7% of accidents.
- Other Passengers
Monitoring children in the back seat or interacting with another passenger accounts for 5% of distracted driving accidents.
- Operating the Vehicle
Using the dashboard to change music, adjust temperatures, or air vents is a contributor to 2% of accidents.
- Eating and Drinking
Two percent of distracted drivers were eating, drinking, or holding food or cups when an auto accident occurred.
- Reaching For Something
Taking the eyes off the road to read notes/direction, reach for food, or electronic devices contributes to 2% of car accidents.
One percent of drivers are distracted by lighting, smoking, and extinguishing cigarettes.
- Motion in Car
Pets jumping around, children playing, or insects getting inside the car cause 1% of distracted driving accidents.
- Changing Car Controls
Adjusting mirrors, seat belts, or the navigation system also contribute to 1% of accidents.
Pay Attention to Inattention
Inattention while driving is the main reason for distracted driving traffic car accidents. Fatigue, stress, and impatience also cause inattention because they make drivers less aware of what they are doing. What all these things have in common, however, is that they reduce the focus on the activity of driving and the need to pay attention.
It only takes one misstep to cause serious injury or even death. The significant connection between cell phone use occurs because it involves all three modes of distraction: visual, by taking the eyes of the road; manual, by holding the phone and dialing or texting; and, cognitive, by focusing on a text or call instead of the road.
In a mere 5 seconds traveling at 55 mph, a car covers 100 yards. Taking those 5 seconds to read or type a text is the equivalent of driving with the eyes closed for the length of a football field. Therefore, never take your eyes and concentration off the road.
In the event that you have experienced an injury from a car accident caused by a distracted driver, seek out the professional legal counsel of a New York car accident attorney. The team of auto injury lawyers at The Rothenberg Law Firm LLP have decades of experience in winning personal injury lawsuits and can provide the help you need for pursuing your distracted driving case.