Driving is something that most of us do daily, but it can quickly become deadly when we take our eyes off the road. Distracted driving is an increasing issue worldwide, with millions of accidents and fatalities reported each year due to distracted drivers. If you have been involved in a car accident, consult a car accident attorney Fort Wayne immediately.
What is distracted driving?
Any activity that diverts an individual’s attention and focus away from the activity of driving is considered distracted driving. Distractions of this nature include:
- Consuming foods or beverages
- Using a cell phone or smartphone
- Reading, including maps
- Talking to passengers
- Adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player
- Using a GPS or navigation system
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration categorizes distracted driving into three categories: visual, manual, and cognitive distractions. The most fundamental type of visual distraction is not paying attention to where you are going. A manual distraction involves removing one or both hands from the driving wheel, such as sipping coffee on the way to work. Finally, a cognitive distraction allows your thoughts to stray from the driving job, even if you have both hands on the wheel and your gaze is fixed on the road.
Laws for distracted driving
There is currently no countrywide legislation prohibiting cell phone usage while driving in the United States. However, texting while driving is an unlawful, ticketable crime in 48 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the US Virgin Islands, for which you might face a large fine or points on your license.
However, in certain jurisdictions, such as Florida and South Dakota, the texting while driving restriction is a secondary regulation, which means that a motorist must first be pulled over for a primary crime, such as not wearing a seatbelt.
Dangers of distracted driving
Driving while distracted may have serious repercussions for the driver and passengers, pedestrians, and other motorists. Distracted driving claimed the lives of 2,841 people in 2018, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Furthermore, an estimated 400,000 persons were harmed in distracted driving incidents.
One of the most deadly kinds of distracted driving is texting while driving. It draws a driver’s attention away from the road, hands away from the wheel, and thoughts away from the work of driving. Sending or reading a text message while driving can result in an accident in seconds, making it one of the major causes of traffic accidents.
Other types of distracted driving can be equally deadly. Drinking or eating while driving might result in spillage or choking dangers, which can lead to accidents. Applying cosmetics or grooming can also be dangerous since it draws a driver’s attention away from the road and their hands away from the wheel.