Distracted driving is when something or someone takes a driver’s eyes, ears, and/or physical abilities away from the road. In theory, it can be caused by anything that takes away the driver’s concentration, even though most drivers assume distracted driving is limited to texting and driving. In fact, there are numerous ways a person can become distracted while operating a vehicle, from applying makeup to engaging in in-depth conversation.
Regardless of the cause, distracted driving leads to devastating accidents, in addition to traffic citations in Florida. Also, if a driver is guilty of distracted driving, they can be held liable in a civil lawsuit for any injuries or deaths caused because of reckless behavior.
The Three Types of Distracted Driving
There are three main types of distracted driving, which include:
- Visual Distraction - When something takes the driver’s eyes away from the road.
- Manual Distraction - When the driver is forced to take their hands off the wheel of the vehicle.
- Cognitive Distraction - When the driver is still watching the road and their hands are on the wheel, but their mind is not focused on driving.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, distracted driving is increasingly becoming a problem in the United States. Reports have indicated the following:
- There were 3,328 people killed and 421,000 people injured in 2012 due to distracted drivers.
- One out of five crashes in the United States (17 percent) involves a distracted driver.
- The most common cause of distracted driving is text messaging.
Common Forms of Distracted Driving
While distracted driving is most commonly associated with texting and driving, there are other common distractions that cause accidents each day in the state of Florida. These distractions include:
- Smoking - Whether it is lighting, smoking, or putting out a cigarette, smoking takes a driver’s eyes and cognitive abilities away from the road.
- Moving Objects in the Car - Whether it is the family pet or an object rolling around in the car, a driver attempting to keep that object from moving takes their manual, visual, and cognitive abilities away from driving.
- Using a Device - Any type of device, whether it is a cellphone or a GPS system, takes a driver’s eyes and hands away from the road in order to adjust it. Even changing the radio station can take a driver’s concentration from the road and lead to a fatal accident.
- Eating or Drinking - Thousands of Americans eat their meals on-the-go. Eating and drinking behind the wheel may save time, but it requires a driver to take a hand away from the wheel, as well as their eyes.
- Conversations - Friends and family in the car may offer good company, but conversations can take the driver’s cognitive abilities off the road ahead.
- Cell Phone Use - Even hands-free devices can take a driver’s attention away from the road. Engaging in a conversation – or even listening to a voicemail message – forces the driver to focus on what they are listening to rather than driving.
Were You Injured by a Distracted Driver? Contact Vasilaros | Wagner Today
If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident because of a distracted driver, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the Daytona auto accident attorneys at Vasilaros | Wagner today for a free case evaluation. Schedule your appointment by calling us at 386-777-7777 or complete an online contact form.