Most drivers know that talking on their cell phones, eating, or unruly passengers can cause distracted driving. However, there are other distractions drivers may not think about that can also cause this type of behavior. Distracted driving is only on the rise, which means those on the road need to be highly diligent to keep themselves and others safe.
If a distracted driver injured you, contact the personal injury attorneys at Martin Attorneys, PA. Our compassionate legal team is here for you during this trying time.
Distracted Driving Statistics
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) routinely releases statistics regarding the commonality of distracted driving. In 2020, NHTSA found more than 3,100 individuals lost their lives due to distracted driving accidents.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that distracted driving is considered anything that causes a driver to take their attention away from the act of driving. The organization adds that distracted driving is categorized into three different types:
- Visual — when a driver’s eyes are not focused on the road
- Manual — when a driver does not have their hands on the steering wheel
- Cognitive — when a driver is not mentally focused on the act of driving
While one of these distractions alone is enough to cause a driver to have an accident, a driver could experience two or all three types combined, resulting in hazardous driving.
Uncommon Distractions for Drivers
As previously shared, common distractions while driving include using a cell phone, picking up food, and more. However, there are also other distractions that drivers may not consider yet can still result in an accident.
It’s a common depiction on television or the movies — a character is upset, and they say, “I’m going for a drive.” This usually leads to a montage or reflection of a previous scene. In reality, though, someone who is emotionally unstable may have difficulty thinking about driving and, therefore, be cognitively distracted.
Another example of letting emotions dictate drivers’ actions is road rage. This term is commonly used to describe those who are driving aggressively, including measures such as tailgating or swerving in front of other vehicles without a proper distance. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that 56% of fatal accidents could potentially be attributed to drivers with road rage.
Pressing buttons or turning a knob in a vehicle is a common manual distraction for drivers, but what about a cognitive distraction? If a driver sings along to a song that’s playing or imaginatively talks back to a commentator they may disagree with, it could be enough of a significant cognitive distraction for the driver and therefore cause an accident.
While many may assume that hands-free technology would decrease distracted driving, experts are not ready to solidify that claim. In a separate report, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that hands-free technology can result in a nearly 30-second mental distraction for drivers due to the lag of functioning technology. Researchers noted a driver is not cognitively focused on the road when making a command in their vehicle, and even after the task is completed, a driver may still not be fully focused on the road.
Urge to Use the Bathroom
Believe it or not, having to use the bathroom could be enough to significantly distract drivers and result in a crash. In fact, research from a Harvard professor found that needing to use the bathroom badly caused drivers to have the same impairment as a driver who had a blood alcohol content level of .05%.
Personal Injury Attorneys in Northwest Arkansas
Distractions for drivers aren’t going away anytime soon. That’s why it’s imperative for those injured by a distracted driver to contact an experienced personal injury attorney right away.
The legal team at Martin Attorneys, PA is ready to help you after an accident. Our attorneys have been assisting clients to meet their legal goals for more than 30 years and we’re prepared to get you the best possible result with your case. Contact us online or by phone today. (479) 888-2039