Distracted driving has become an absolute epidemic in Jackson and around the entire country. Some research even suggests that it’s as dangerous, if not more dangerous, as drunk driving. Even with all of the latest research and statistics on the dangers of distracted driving, people are still texting behind the wheel. It’s important to note that texting isn’t the only type of distracted behavior drivers are engaging in either. A variety of different behaviors can be considered distractions behind the wheel.The Dangers of Distracted Driving
Very few communities across the country have been untouched by the preventable tragedies that occur with distracted driving. We’re constantly seeing reports on the evening news involving fatal and catastrophic-injury causing distracted driving accidents. If drivers are focusing on their phones, they’re not watching the road. All it takes is one quick glance at a text message to miss something important in the roadway. Pedestrians and cyclists especially, are counting on drivers to pay attention to the road.Distracted Driving Facts
- Every day, more than 9 people are killed in distracted driving crashes.
- An estimated 1,153 people are injured in distracted-driving related crashes each day.
- In 2012, 3,328 people were killed in distracted driving crashes across the country.
- As of December of 2013, 153.3 billion text messages were sent in the U.S. every month.
- 10 percent of drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reportedly distracted at the time of the crash.
- Drivers in their 20’s make up 27 percent of distracted drivers in fatal crashes.
- At any given daylight moment, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices behind the wheel.
We keep hearing it, because it’s true. One text or call could wreck it all. Five seconds is the average time your eyes are off the roadway while texting. If you’re going 55 miles-per-hour, that’s the length of a football field. Would you drive that far with your eyes closed? That’s essentially what texting while driving is doing. It’s like driving blind. It’s a dangerous behavior that puts all other roadway users at great risk. If you have been injured by a distracted driver, your top priority needs to be speaking with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Jackson.Different Types of Distracted Driving
There are all different forms of distracted driving, but they basically fit into one or more of three basic categories. If you’re not sure if a certain type of behavior is a distraction behind the wheel, ask yourself a few questions. Do I have to take my hands off the wheel? Do I have to look somewhere other than the road? Do I have to think about something other than the task of driving?
Three Types of Distractions Behind the Wheel
- Manual Distractions
- Visual Distractions
- Cognitive Distractions
Manual distractions occur when you have to take your hands off of the wheel to manipulate something that’s not directly related to the task of driving. This can even include changing the radio station or fiddling with a GPS machine. You need both hands on the wheel to drive safely.Visual Distractions
Visual distractions involve looking at something other than the road. Again, this can include radio stations, GPS machines, cell phones and other smart devices. You need to be watching the road, because it only takes a split second for another driver to have an emergency or for a child to walk into the roadway. Additionally, we’ve been seeing an increase in crashes that involve visually distracted drivers who veer onto the shoulder or across the centerline, ending with deadly pedestrian and cyclist accidents and head-on collisions.Cognitive Distractions
Cognitive distractions include any task that takes your mind off the road. You shouldn’t be daydreaming or formulating your next text message behind the wheel. You’re driving an incredibly large, heavy, dangerous and fast moving object. Make sure you’re focused on the road.
Ultimately, a lot of distracted behaviors fall into more than one of those categories. Texting while driving is actually a manual, visual and cognitive distraction.
Examples of Distracted Driving
- Doing makeup in the car
- Talking on the phone
- Checking Facebook
- Reading or sending emails
- Using GPS
- Watching a video
- Adjusting the radio
- Talking to passengers
- Eating and drinking
- Taking a selfie
If you or a loved one has been injured in a distracted driving accident, contact the skilled legal team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC at (601) 948-1600 for a free case consultation today. Since not all distracted driving behaviors are immediately apparent, it may be necessary to have additional investigative efforts conducted.