The average American checks their phone every 12 minutes. It’s no secret that the amount of distractions in society is increasing, and as those distractions increase, so does the chances of us being affected by distracted drivers or worse – becoming one. Many of us fail to keep our attention focused as we should during the most vital of situations – in this case, being behind the wheel.
The state of Texas banned texting and driving back in 2017; this law directly prohibits sending, receiving, or typing electronic messages. There does, however, remain other forms of distracted driving, such as talking on the phone, eating/drinking, changing the radio, or using a GPS system.
What Defines Someone as a Distracted Driver
Distracted drivers are essentially defined as people who take their focus off driving, whether intentionally or accidental, to focus on secondary aspects which can potentially be added to the census of 5 million car accidents caused by distracted driving that occur yearly throughout the U.S. About half of these accidents result in some type of injury to the persons involved.
Distracted drivers become a threat to everyone on the road, so it becomes our utmost responsibility to understand the types of distracted driving so that we may avoid these behaviors while teaching others to as well.
3 Types of Distracted Driving
The CDC identifies 3 separate types of distraction for drivers:
• Manual Distraction – This type of distraction involves our hands being used for something other than driving. Playing with the radio, picking up our phone, reaching for something in the backseat – no matter the reason, manual distractions delay our ability to swiftly react, regardless of if our eyes are focused on the road or not.
• Visual Distraction – Visual distractions are arguably the most dangerous of distractions, as someone cannot drive at all if they are visually impaired. Our eyes can be viewed as lifeguards as we swim throughout the daily waves of traffic on a daily basis. If for a moment’s notice we defer our eyes to a secondary source other than the road while driving, we risk turning those 2-3 seconds of distraction into a lifetime of costly pain.
• Cognitive Distraction – Though our eyes are on the road and our hands are on the wheel, mental distractions can hinder our ability to drive safely and defensively. Actions such as listening to the radio, daydreaming, talking, or singing can take our focus from the road in a situation where we may need it most.
Something as simple as texting can easily fall into all 3 of these categories. You look down at your phone, start typing while your mind is thinking about what to say, not what way to turn the wheel or what pedal to hit.
Distracted Driving Impacts Everyone
Even if we are following all the safety guidelines and taking all the steps necessary to ensure we are not distracted while driving, it does not guarantee that we will be completely safe since we must also be aware of the drivers that are around us. If you are injured by a distracted driver in Texas, it is imperative to seek the help of an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you obtain compensation for the injuries you sustained.
Contact Stern Law Group at (877) 661-9900 for a free consultation.