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Distractions Other than Cell Phones that Increase Car Accident Risks

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Most of us are aware of the dangers associated with driving while distracted. It is a well known fact that taking your eyes off the road and your hands off the wheel for even a few seconds can significantly increase your car accident risks. However, what many people fail to realize is that there are numerous other activities that can result in crashes and potentially serious injuries. The following outlines some of the more common dangers, and what you can do to protect yourself.

The Dangers of Driver Distractions

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines distracted driving as anything that diverts your attention from the road for even a few minutes. In general, the CDC claims that distracted drivers are responsible for roughly nine traffic fatalities and more than 1,000 car accident injuries each day in the U.S. They have identified three main areas in which different distractions impact driving abilities:

  • Visual distractions: These can come from inside the vehicle, such as something as simple as turning to look at a passenger, or from outside, such as focusing on finding a street sign or admiring passing scenery.
  • Manual distractions: These may include reaching for items in the glove department, or using one hand to stabilize bulky or fragile packages you are transporting.
  • Cognitive distractions: Anything that causes your mind to stray from the task of driving can put you at risk. Driving is a complex task and requires your undivided attention.

Using cellphones and texting are particularly dangerous, as they involve all three of the above types of distractions. However, there are plenty of other activities drivers regularly engage in that could endanger them and others on the road.

Types of Distracted Driving Behaviors

Under the Florida Statutes, texting while driving is against this law. This includes using hands on or hands free devices to send instant messages, emails, or other electronic communications. While not a primary offense, meaning that law enforcement can not pull you over simply on the basis of seeing you holding your phone,  police can ticket you if they have reason to pull you over for other driving infractions.

Many of us spend a good deal of time in our vehicles, and it is not uncommon to ‘multi-task’. However, be aware that all of the following could put you, your passengers, and others on the road at increased risk for potentially serious car accidents and injuries:

  • Putting on makeup, combing hair, or attending to other personal grooming tasks, even if stopped in traffic;
  • Changing GPS or radio stations;
  • Reaching to attend to children or pets, either in the front or back seat;
  • Drinking or eating fast food and to go items.

Reach Out to Us Today for Help

At the Law Office of Steven G. Lavely, your safety and well being is our top priority. If you are in a car accident and suspect distracted driving played a role, contact our Bradenton car accident attorneys right away. We can arrange a consultation to discuss your case and how you can get the compensation you need to recover.

Resource:

cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/distracted_driving/index.html