Driving distracted is one of the most common ways that anyone can become involved in an auto accident.
Many people assume that most driving distractions are caused by cell phones.
Lawyers who help clients deal with the effects of auto accidents know from experience that there are actually more distractions that affect drivers than just cell phones.
The best way for drivers to stay safe is to recognize the many distractions that car accident attorneys report as being responsible for dangerous crashes and avoid them.
Distracted Driving - A Common Cause Of Auto Accidents
Distracted driving is one of the most prevalent causes of car accidents and responsible for nearly 3,500 traffic fatalities and 391,00 injuries in 2016 alone.1
Auto accident lawyers who see the devastating aftermath of such behavior every day describe distracted driving as anything that diverts a driver’s attention from the road and their surroundings.
According to the NHTSA, distractions of all kinds reduce driver safety significantly.
Many distractions affect drivers the same as if they had closed their eyes for 5 seconds while driving.
Distractions reduce driver alertness and reaction time, making an auto accident more likely to happen.
Cell Phones A Major Cause Of Driver Distraction
The topic of cell phone use and its significance in driver distraction is well known by car accident attorneys, safety advocates, and many others.
Driver safety studies indicate that among all distractions, cell phones are one of the more common distractions of many drivers.
An estimated 481,000 drivers are thought to be using their cell phones while driving during daylight hours every year.1
Such usage causes them to be distracted and results in numerous dangerous accidents that leave people injured, sometimes seriously or fatally.
Auto accident lawyers are aware that when used for talking, texting, and even reading directions, phones pull driver attention away from the road, create dangerous situations, and can often result in crashes.
Other Causes Of Driver Distraction To Avoid
As common as cell phone distractions may be, it may be surprising to learn from car accident attorneys that cell phone usage is not the primary distraction that can cause an auto accident.
A recent study released by Erie Insurance rates driver distractions in order of significance, with cell phones showing up as the second most prevalent distraction.2
- Daydreaming - 61% of distracted drivers involved in crashes were in attentive, careless, or lost in thought and not paying attention.
- Cell Phones - 14% of distracted drivers were talking, texting, dialing, or listening to their cell phones.
- Something Outside the Car - 6% of distracted drivers were paying attention to a person, object, or event happening outside the car, otherwise known as rubbernecking.
- Reaching or Using Devices - 2% of distracted drivers were reaching for or using items brought into the vehicle such as navigation devices and headphones.
- Other Distractions - Less than 2% of drivers were distracted by things such as eating or drinking, adjusting vehicle climate or audio controls, adjusting vehicle mirrors, seats, or OEM navigation, smoking, or moving objects in the car like pets or insects.
While cell phones are probably the most talked about driver distraction right now, auto accident lawyers know that this action is not the only thing distracting drivers.
It's More Than Just Cell Phone Usage
The point here is that all drivers should recognize that there are many distractions, including simple daydreaming, that can result in a dangerous auto accident.
Car accident attorneys suggest that to reduce the possibility of being involved in a distraction-related crash, drivers must stay alert, pay attention to the road at all times, and avoid the many things that can distract them while driving!
Hildebrand & Wilson, Attorneys at Law
7930 Broadway, Suite 122
Pearland TX 77581
1National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Risky Driving: Distracted Driving: Overview
2Erie Insurance, Deadly Driving Distractions, 2018