Many people think nothing of chatting on the phone, sipping a morning coffee, or adjusting the music behind the wheel. However, these common and seemingly innocent behaviors are examples of distracted driving, which can be more dangerous and potentially deadly than you might believe.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 3,100 people died in distracted driving accidents throughout the U.S. in a recent year. Hundreds of thousands more suffered non-fatal injuries. Let’s look more closely at the dangers of distracted driving and what you can do to stay safe on the road.
Why Is Distracted Driving a Problem?
Distracted driving is a significant problem because safe driving requires your full attention. When a car, truck, or another vehicle travels at high speeds, even a split second’s distraction can mean the difference between a safe commute and a devastating accident.
According to NHTSA, texting while driving is one of the most common and deadly forms of distracted driving. The average text message takes five seconds to read or write. At 55 miles per hour, that’s long enough to travel the length of a football field, all without your full attention on the road.
The 3 Types of Driving Distractions
There are three main types of driver distractions, including:
- Manual distraction: Anything that prompts you to remove one or both hands from the wheel
- Visual distraction: Anything that causes you to take your eyes off of the road
- Cognitive distraction: Something that takes your mind off the task of driving safely
Texting while driving is considered the most hazardous form of distracted driving. That’s because it combines all three types of distracted driving at once. Holding or typing on the phone, glancing down at a phone screen, and considering the content of a message are manual, visual, and cognitive distractions ― and a recipe for disaster.
What Counts as Distracted Driving?
- Talking on the phone
- Adjusting GPS, radio, or climate controls while driving
- Talking or interacting with passengers
- Tending to children or pets
- Eating or drinking while driving
- Personal grooming or changing clothes behind the wheel
Distracted Driving Safety Tips
You can prevent yourself from getting distracted behind the wheel by:
- Adjusting your mirrors, seats, music, and climate controls before you leave
- Turning off or silencing your cell phone before you start your car
- Letting your family members and co-workers know you are unavailable to answer messages while driving
- Pulling over to a safe location if you must make a call, send a text, update your GPS, or check a map
- Consuming food and beverages before or after you drive
- Getting dressed and applying makeup before you get behind the wheel
- Taking breaks as needed to avoid boredom
How Can a Honolulu Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer Help You?
If you were injured in a Honolulu distracted driving accident, you might be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, repairs to your vehicle, lost wages, and more. Contact Recovery Law Center for a free consultation with a trusted car accident lawyer.