Distracted driving has become a huge problem and safety concern for drivers. National statistics show that in 2014, 3,179 people were killed and 431,000 people were injured as a result of drivers putting their focus on something besides the road.
This problem is largely due to cell phone use while driving. However, there are many other distractions that can pull a driver's attention away from safely operating a vehicle.
What are distractions?
A distraction is anything that pulls your attention away from the task at hand. There are many things that you may already know are considered distracted driving, such as:
- Watching a video
- Eating or drinking
- Reading or writing a post on social media
Other distractions that are a little less obvious include:
- Adjusting the radio or music
- Looking at billboard ads
- Brushing your teeth
- Talking to passengers
By far one of the most dangerous yet most common forms of distraction is texting. Texting requires visual, manual and cognitive attention from the driver. Driving also requires your visual, manual and cognitive attention. If you are texting, you can seriously compromise your own safety and that of others who share the road with you.
Many drivers often overestimate their driving ability. This leads them to believe that they are able to successfully multitask. This is rarely, if ever, the case.
Know the law
With the increase in cell phone use, anti-distraction laws have been implemented. In Louisiana, it is illegal for newly licensed drivers and drivers under the age of 17 to use cell phones while driving. It is also illegal to use your phone while driving through school zones. Additionally, texting and driving is prohibited for all drivers.
It is imperative that all drivers give their undivided attention to the road. If you need to send a text or make a phone call, safely pull over and do so. Additionally, if you know someone is driving, wait to call or send them a text until you suspect they are no longer on the road.
If you suspect a distracted driver injured you or a loved one, speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer. An attorney can examine your case and help determine if a negligent driver caused the accident. An attorney can also help you recover fair compensation or a settlement offer from the at-fault driver's insurance company.