Driving is one of the most important aspects of our modern-day society. Obligations such as schooling, errands, emergencies, or other events require speedy travel between two points. This makes having a driver’s license a necessity to exist in today’s fast-moving world. All it takes to observe this fact is a simple glance in the direction of a roadway during a busy workday. Millions of people drive every day.
Distracted driving is a blanket term. Basically, it describes performing a task while driving that overtakes vehicle operation by making it the secondary task. The most common form of distracted driving involves the use of smartphones. Whether it’s talking on the phone, playing a game, snapping a picture, these all constitute forms of distracted driving. If you look at statistics, a staggering 50% of drivers have admitted to texting while behind the wheel.
It is more than a little concerning to know that a large number of drivers in your immediate vicinity text while they drive. Even those whom we consider as safe drivers. Of course, distracted driving does not end with smartphone use. There are plenty of other ways to lose sight of the road. Let’s explore that.
Types of Distracted Driving
Generally speaking, there are three types of distracted driving:
- Manual Distractions: Cell phone use, applying makeup, eating—basically anything that requires you to remove your hands from the wheel while driving.
- Visual Distractions: Any object outside of your vehicle that takes your eyes off the road, such as a car accident or a supermarket sale.
- Cognitive Distractions: Whatever takes your mind off the road, whether it be emotions, wandering thoughts, or stress from other areas of your life.
According to the California DMV, 65% of all near-crashes happen because of some kind of distraction. Of course, that’s just assuming you are lucky enough to catch yourself in time to stop. Any distracted driver may find themselves colliding at full speed into the rear end of the car in front of them. Car accidents such as these only go from bad to worse. If you’re lucky, then both of the parties remain unscathed and walk away with only property damage and legal fees. This doesn’t even consider the possibility of injury, which becomes exponentially worse when the situation involves children or babies. Undoubtedly, distracted driving should be taken very seriously. If we are able to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving, then we can make our roads much safer.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, roughly 40,000 Floridian drivers are being distracted by technology at any given moment. Therefore, Florida is one of many states that has enacted a texting-while-driving ban. But, many law enforcement officials say that the issue is so rampant that it has become unenforceable. Evidently, statewide bans for distracted driving are only half of the battle.
Who Can Help Stop Distracted Driving?
Truth be told, anyone can join a cause. That being said, it doesn’t mean there aren’t key players when it comes to stopping distracted driving. According to the Centers for Disease Control, nine people are killed and 1000 injured from distracted driving each day. To help put an end to this epidemic, everyone needs to do their part. But, here are some key players who need to become more involved:
- Teenagers: Peer pressure is an extremely powerful tool and teens are the best wielders of this weapon. Teenagers are able to make ripples easily by asking their friends to sign a pledge against distracted driving or by becoming involved in their local Students Against Destructive Decisions chapter. Teens may even want to consider sharing messages on social media to remind their friends and family about the dangers of distracted driving.
- Parents: Teens may have a lot of power over their own age group. But, parents are also another group of very strong social influencers. Parents should lead by example and never partake in distracted driving. They should talk with their young ones about distracted driving as well as the responsibilities of driving on the road. For teens, parents should remind their offspring that breaking distracted driving laws could lead to a delayed or suspended license.
- Employers & Educators: This group may also play a part in stopping distracted driving. Educators should ask their students to commit to taking a stand against distracted driving, while employers are able to establish company-wide policies that ban texting while driving on the clock.
Safe Driving Tips
Almost everyone is guilty of some form of distracted driving whether they realize it or not. That being said, here are some tips to reduce the chances of distracted driving while on the road:
- Cell Phone Usage: When you are driving, you should only use a cell phone in case of emergencies. Even so, it is still best to pull over to the outside shoulder of the road in order to make a call. Having a hands-free device helps. But, it still may cause you to miss out on important audio and visual cues while on the road. Cell phone usage for social purposes should be avoided at all costs.
- Sleep Deprivation: If you are too drowsy to drive, then make the decision to pull off of the road. Studies show that more than one-third of U.S. drivers have actually fallen asleep behind the wheel before. If you are tired, then find a safe spot and take a quick nap.
- Don’t Eat & Drive: You might be in a rush one morning and eat breakfast in your car on the way to work or school. This may seem like a time-saver. but, it is actually highly dangerous to yourself and others around you. Food spills are often a major culprit in serious distractions while driving.
- Limit Activity Level in the Car: This especially applies to younger, less-experienced age groups. Many states prohibit teenage drivers from having too many passengers in the car. Driving with friends may be a dangerous distraction for younger vehicle operators, as novice drivers are more focused on their friends than they are the road.
If you have recently been the victim of negligence from a distracted party, then please consider contacting our attorneys at 855-DOLOR-55. The Ward Law Group has nearly a decade of experience in handling every type and stripe of insurance case under the sun. Don’t leave your settlement up to big-name insurance companies. They will try to minimize your compensation using any means necessary.
In addition, The Ward Law Group provides legal services to both English and Spanish speaking clients, so do not worry if English is not your primary language. Our attorneys will provide you with the award-winning consultation that you need to navigate the legal landscape of your particular case!