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Distracted driving happens any time a secondary activity diverts your attention from driving. Many people automatically think of cell phone use when they hear the term distracted driving. And while it is certainly a primary distraction, it is not the only one.
Authorities have identified three major forms of distraction. Most distractions involve two or more of these types:
- Visual distractions take your eyes away from the road
- Manual distractions take your hands off the wheel
- Cognitive distractions take your mind off driving entirely
Now that we understand the nature of distractions, let’s find out what the major driving diversions are.
1. Cell phone use. Whether talking or texting, manual or hands-free, reading a text message, processing the information, and formulating a response can take your eyes, hands, and mind away from your primary task. The National Safety Council reports that while talking on the cell phone, drivers may miss as much as 50% of what’s going on around them.
2. Eating, drinking, and smoking. Although eating behind the wheel could possibly be one of the worst forms of distracted driving, studies show that over 70% of drivers admit to doing it. Data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates drivers increase their odds of being in an accident by 80% while eating.
3. Interacting with passengers. While passengers can sometimes be beneficial by helping to keep a driver alert or pointing out dangers not readily visible to the driver, they can also sometimes be a distraction. In fact, many states place restrictions on the number and age of passengers for novice drivers.
4. Grooming. Whether it’s shaving or putting on makeup, personal grooming while driving poses a serious threat to the safety of drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.
5. Adjusting in-dash technology. Simple car radios are a thing of the past. Today’s vehicles come equipped with complex stereo systems, Bluetooth, on-board navigation, climate control, and a myriad of other devices to make your commute more enjoyable. However, fidgeting with all these components while you are also trying to navigate the vehicle, will certainly not make it any safer.
Distracted driving is a hazard for anyone using the road. Younger and less experienced drivers, however, are especially susceptible. According to the Arbella Insurance Foundation, drivers ages 18-20 are four times more likely to be in a distracted driving accident as a 35-year-old motorist. But, regardless of age, all drivers should focus on the task at hand when they are behind the wheel.
Contact Our Denver Car Accident Lawyers
If you believe that you were injured by a distracted driver, it is important to speak to an experienced Denver car accident lawyer immediately. Contact the Denver Law Firm of John R. Fuller, P.C. today at 303-597-4500 for a free initial consultation. We can help you obtain the compensation you need to recover from your accident. Call us today.