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Most Common Driving Distractions and How to Avoid Them

Distracted driving has been a major problem for many automobile users. Distracted driving has caused serious injuries like head trauma, broken bones, and deep tissue lacerations. And in some cases, even death. In 2014, 3,179 people were killed and 431,000 were injured in motor vehicles crashes involving distracted drivers.

The three main types of distractions when driving also known as the Triple Threat are visual, manual, and cognitive. The visual distraction is when one takes their eyes off the road to look at something else. In order to avoid this distraction one must keep their eyes on the road, pull over to read directions, and put their phone in “Do Not Disturb” mode. The manual distraction is when one takes their hands off the wheel. In order to avoid this distraction one must keep their phone out of reach; make all adjustments before driving, and to not reach for items while driving. The last distraction, cognitive, is when one takes their mind off of driving and is not 100% aware of their surroundings. In order to avoid this distraction one must avoid phone calls even if it is hands-free, stay focused on the road, and keep personal emotions in check.

Some of the most common distractions include,

  • Texting
  • Using a cell phone or smartphone
  • Eating or drinking
  • Talking to passengers
  • Reading, including maps
  • Using a navigation system
  • Watching a video
  • Adjusting a radio

On June 28, 2013 Officer Mitch Waller was hit from behind by a Toyota sedan on the 405 freeway and died. The driver involved in the crash pleaded to a distracted driving charge, but served no jail time. Sally, the wife of officer Mitch Waller stated that, “Using the phone and driving is a choice, the same way that drinking and driving is a choice […] When you drink and drive and you kill someone, the penalty is a lot higher than when you’re looking on your phone and you kill somebody or cause an accident. I think that needs to change.”

In order to prevent distracted driving, many states are enforcing laws. For example, banning texting or using your phone while driving. “According to the CDC, the Federal government has enforced new laws involving distracted driving.  On September 30, 2009, President Obama issued an executive order prohibiting federal employees from texting while driving on government business or with government equipment.” After that many new laws were implemented in order to stop the number of distracted driving accidents from increasing. However, implementing laws is not enough. Sometimes people break the law without thinking about why the law was enacted or about the risk and consequences associated with the violation. Therefore, a better way to reduce distracted driving is by educating drivers about the dangers.

Many companies like AT&T tried to reduce the chances of their customers getting into an auto accident due to distracted driving. AT&T released their “No Texting and Driving Pledge” campaign: It Can Wait, a couple years ago. This pledge encouraged drivers to pledge that they will not text and drive. It also addressed some related issues such as texting and driving, changing one’s driving behavior, and teen driving education. It was a great way to spread awareness. To this day, there have been over 9 million pledges made.

With today’s advancements on technology, new distractions come underway. Since its release on July 2016, the Pokémon Go application for smart phones has already caused drivers to crash. Looking away from the road for even five seconds can cause a huge accident. All of these distractions fall under the Triple Threat distractions. They impair a driver from focusing on the road causing more damage than good. It is a big problem because in “2013, 3,154 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver compared to 3,328 in 2012. In 2013, 424,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver, an almost 10% increase since 2011”.  Distracted driving is one of the main causes of automobile crashes along with driving under the influence. Do not become distracted, that text can wait.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an automobile accident as a result of another person’s fault, call our California motorcycle accident lawyers for a free consultation. We accept motorcycle accident cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that there will be no cost to you, unless we recover. Our accident attorneys at Guldjian Law will aggressively fight for you until justice is served, whether it is through a settlement or a trial.  Let us help you and your loved ones get through this difficult time. Our dedicated and caring team of California personal injury attorneys will be available to you 24/7. Call us at 1-800-385-4838 for a free consultation.

Sources:

Facts and Statistics: http://www.distraction.gov/stats-research-laws/facts-and-statistics.html

The DMV. Three Types of Driving  Distractions: http://www.dmv.org/distracted-driving/three-types-of-distractions.php

Los Angeles Times Mitch Waller: http://www.latimes.com/socal/weekend/news/tn-wknd-me-0410-mitch-waller-20160403-story.html

CDC Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/distracted_driving/

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