Distracted Driving Is Becoming A Major Cause Of car Accidents
Safety organizations and law enforcement agencies are stepping up the fight against distracted driving accidents. Driving while distracted has been recognized as a major auto accident cause. In one year alone, distracted driving killed more than 3,000 people in motor vehicle crashes in the United States. In addition, 387,000 people were injured, some seriously. Analysts found that there was a distracted driver in 10 percent of all accidents where injuries occurred.
Those who are unlucky enough to be injured by a distracted driver may have an excellent case for recovering damages due to the driver’s negligence.
People Can Be A Distraction
Driving is a complex task, and a major responsibility that takes a driver’s attention.
Almost all of us are likely to be distracted while driving at some time. A distraction is anything that takes a driver’s attention away from all the tasks involved in driving. Eyes may stray from the road, mental focus could shift away from driving or hands could leave the wheel.
A classic source of distraction is simply interacting with others in the car. This kind of distraction has been affecting drivers since the days of the Model T Ford. Research has found that teens are especially likely to be distracted by peers in the car.
Teens Distract Peers
A teen driver who has two or more teenage passengers has over three times the risk of getting into a fatal car accident. Crashes involving teen drivers killed more than 900 of their passengers in one year, according to the NHTSA.
Male teenagers are more likely to be distracted by others in the car than female teenagers are, seriously affecting their driving skills. Males are six times likelier to engage in an illegal driving maneuver when they have teen passengers.
Given the negative impact of peer passengers, many states restrict the number of young passengers a young driver is permitted to have in the car. In Texas, a new teen driver with a provisional license;
Can have a maximum of one non-related passenger under the age of 21 in a vehicle.
There can be no driving between midnight and 5:00 a.m.
There can be no use, including hands-free, of any mobile device.
Common Activities Can Lead To A Distracted Driving Accident
Without even thinking about it, many people routinely eat and drink while driving. Of course, this is a distracting activity. Taking a drink of coffee involves taking a hand off the wheel, locating the cup and bringing it up for a sip. The distraction may seem minor, but a distracted driving accident can happen in just a second or two.
Another distracting activity is personal grooming. Combing hair, applying makeup or shaving – all to save a little time – can prove to be disastrous if a traffic light change goes unnoticed or a pedestrian steps into a crosswalk ahead of the car.
It is also easy to crash while fiddling with car radio or music player controls, or looking at a dashboard display commonly found in late model cars.
And perhaps the worst of all is texting or making phone calls, leading to cell phone accidents. Unfortunately, teenagers are text frequently, with a fourth admitting that they respond to text messages while driving. Need more information from our San Antonio car accident lawyers, click here