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Distracted Driving: Preventing the Epidemic

In 2018 alone, more than 4,000 people have died in accidents involving cellphones, with over 14% of all fatal accidents involving cellphones. What’s even more frightening about these numbers is the fact that they don’t take into account the hundreds of thousands of accidents that take place each year because of other distractions. Distracted driving is an epidemic that is impacting every driver across the nation in some way.

What Is Distracted Driving?

When you hear the phrase “distracted driving,” you may immediately think of a teen driver using their cellphone behind the wheel. While cellphones are the most common distraction behind the wheel, there are many other forms of distractions. Similarly, teens are the most distracted drivers. However, distracted driving is impacting everyone on the road almost equally.

Distracted driving is anything that takes your attention away from the road. Distracted driving is 100% preventable.

Forms of Distracted Driving

Now that we know that distracted driving has the ability to impact anyone who sits behind the wheel, it’s important to understand the three different forms of distracted driving:

Cognitive

Cognitive distractions are those that take your mind away from the road ahead. These distractions are often overlooked, as they don’t necessarily require you to be doing anything to become distracted. Some common examples include:

  • Using your cellphone
  • Listening to podcasts/videos
  • Driving shortly after a significant, emotional argument (your mind will likely not be focused on the road)
  • Daydreaming
  • Talking to other passengers
  • Using hands-free devices

Visual

Visual distractions are those that take your eyes off the road ahead. These distractions are the most commonly seen because many of the distractions behind the wheel require you to look away from the road. These distractions are so dangerous because they require you to take your eyes off the road in front of you, which impairs your ability to scan for hazards.

Some common visual distractions include:

  • Using your cellphone
  • Changing the GPS
  • Grooming yourself
  • Eating
  • Turning to talk to passengers

Manual

Manual distractions are those that cause you to take your hands off the wheel. These distractions are dangerous because not having your hands on the wheel will is a sure way to get into an accident. You need to be consistently scanning your surroundings for hazards while behind the wheel, and if your hands are tied up in something else, you will not be able to react quickly enough to prevent an accident.

Common manual distractions include:

  • Using your cellphone
  • Eating
  • Changing the GPS
  • Changing the AC
  • Passing items to passengers
  • Rummaging through your belongings
  • Smoking

The Multitasking Myth

You may have taken a look at the list above and thought,

“Many of those things can be done while driving; I’m good at multitasking.”

If you’re thinking this, you are not alone. In fact, multitasking is one of the most common reasons that individuals use to justify their distracted driving. While you may think you are able to multitask behind the wheel, statistics show otherwise.

According to the National Safety Council (NSC), multitasking is impossible. Their studies on brain activity show that the human brain cannot do two things at the same time. Instead, the brain will swap between the events at hand, shutting off one while it moves to the next, and so on.

So while you believe you are texting and driving at the same time, you are really texting while driving blindfolded.

Snider & Horner Can Help

Knowing that accidents are happening because of negligent, distracted drivers makes getting into an accident that much worse. Knowing that these accidents could have been prevented is something that our team at Snider & Horner won’t stand for.

Since 1996, our team of trusted Germantown auto accident attorneys has been helping wrongly injured victims pursue the compensation they deserve. Life can change in an instant following an accident, and we want to help ensure you receive a proper settlement to allow you to recover as best as you can.

Call us today (901) 730-8880 for more information, or to schedule a free case evaluation.

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