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What Are the Dangers of Distracted Driving?

In today’s world, distractions are everywhere—even in places we wish they weren’t. Sadly, distractions are a common cause of auto accidents in the U.S. The reality is that a few seconds is all it takes to crash your vehicle and injure yourself or others.

Here’s a startling fact: sending or reading a text for five seconds while driving at 55 mph is like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed! Additionally, a recent distracted driving poll conducted by The Zebra in January showed that:

  • 52.5% of respondents admitted to eating while driving
  • 36% of respondents admitted to using their cell phones while driving
  • 23.6% of respondents admitted to texting while driving
  • 12% of respondents felt pressure to answer texts while driving

No one can deny that distracted driving, especially texting while driving, is a serious problem across the country. At Aizenman Law Group, we want you to stay informed about this issue and know how you can do your part in helping make our roads safer for everyone.

Distracted Driving Statistics

Distracted driving is more common and more dangerous than you probably think. Just take a look at some of these statistics on distracted driving from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • Every day, about 8 people are killed in distracted driving accidents in the U.S.
  • In 2018, distracted driving led to at least 2,871 fatalities and over 400,000 injuries in the U.S.
  • In 2018, 25% of the distracted drivers involved in fatal crashes were young adults aged 20–29.
  • In 2018, 9% of teens who died in motor vehicle accidents involved distracted driving.

Keep in mind that these are considered low estimates because it’s nearly impossible to track distracted driving for all crashes. For instance, it is difficult to account for someone who is fumbling with their radio and gets into an accident because there is no evidence to actually prove they were distracted.

The Three Types of Distracted Driving

The CDC identifies three main types of driving distractions:

  • Visual Distractions. Anything that takes your eyes off of the road.
  • Manual Distractions. Anything that takes your hands off of the wheel.
  • Cognitive Distractions. Anything that takes your mind off of driving.

Texting and driving, for instance, is considered one of the most deadly driving distractions because it requires you to read your phone (visual distraction), use your hands to type and hold the phone (manual distraction), and use your brain to write out or read a message (cognitive distraction).

Other types of specific driving distractions include:

  • Eating or drinking
  • Talking to passengers
  • Talking on the phone
  • Changing the radio
  • Using Bluetooth
  • Using navigation devices
  • Daydreaming
  • Grooming/applying makeup
  • Adjusting mirrors

How You Can Eliminate Driving Distractions

By driving distracted, you put yourself and others at unnecessary risk. The good news is that there are plenty of effective ways that you can eliminate driving distractions so your full attention is on the road:

  • Adjust your mirrors before getting on the road
  • Use your cell phone for emergencies only
  • Put your phone away so you can’t see it light up and be tempted to look at texts
  • Avoid eating while driving, if possible, or pack easy-to-go snacks
  • Limit the number of passengers in your vehicle

Injured by a Distracted Driver?

Remember that driving is a privilege, not a right. You have a legal duty to protect other vehicle occupants, pedestrians, and others on the roadway by doing everything in your power to remain vigilant and avoid an accident. Likewise, other drivers are obligated to eliminate distractions to help keep themselves and other passengers safe.

If you are injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, you shouldn’t be on the hook for your medical expenses and lost wages. You did nothing to cause the accident, and under Oklahoma’s fault laws, the at-fault driver or their insurance company can be responsible for paying your related damages.

At Aizenman Law Group, our Tulsa car accident attorneys are dedicated to helping prevent distracted driving accidents while ensuring that those who are injured in these events have the compensation they need to get back on their feet.

Get the justice you deserve by calling (918) 215-8856 at your earliest convenience. We offer free, no-obligation consultations.