Most Common Causes of Distracted Driving
Posted on behalf of Henness & Haight on Mar 12, 2015 in Car Accident News
The statistics surrounding distracted drivers are staggering. At least 20 percent of all automobile accidents are due in whole or in part to distraction, and well over 15 percent of accidents involving fatalities can cite the same problem. Driving requires focus, and removing your eyes from the road for a mere two seconds raises the risk of an accident by double. Yet even with these figures, the problem persists. Let's look at the top five things that contribute to the issue.
Eating and Drinking
Eating and drinking behind the wheel is a serious problem. Few people consider these activities to be distracting, but consuming meals while driving reduces reaction time to a level almost equal to talking on the phone. While we take the activity for granted, eating and drinking does require focus, which removes attention from the road.
Using a GPS
GPS devices are designed to help us navigate safely. Ironically, they can function as a major reason why drivers divert attention from the road. Again, the time spent glancing at a GPS map removes attention from the road and can be as distracting as using a cell phone.
Friends and Family
Other passengers in the car can be a factor in lack of attentiveness. In fact, statistics attribute well over 5,000 crashes per year to the person in the passenger seat. While talking with passengers is not nearly quite the distraction that gadgets are, they still can cause a shift in attention.
Fiddling with the Radio
Fiddling with the radio is a danger to which many drivers fall prey. A song comes on that you don't want to hear, so you reach for the knob to change the channel. The CD ends so you go to switch discs. Having pre-set stations and multi-disc changers can help to alleviate this problem somewhat, but avoiding the dials and buttons altogether is the best possible solution.
The worst source of distracted driving is the cell phone. Whether talking, texting or video chatting, cell phone use ties up the hands and eyes, doubling the risk of a car accident. In fact, recent studies proved that distraction from cell phones was the same as being legally intoxicated. Looking at a text while driving 55 mph allows the car to traverse one hundred yards in just over 4.5 seconds, all while you aren't looking. Still, people use their cell phones behind the wheel every day.
The dangers of distracted driving are exceptionally documented. Even still, it presents a major issue for drivers on the road. The issues above form only the five most common issues. Others include smoking, doing makeup, dropping something and reading.
It can be astounding the things people do behind the wheel that do not involve watching the road or other drivers. The problem is nothing short of an epidemic. Education is the first step in curing the issue. If you need legal representation due to a distracted driving accident, we are here to help. Drop us a line today!