It doesn’t matter whether a driver is a teenager or an adult. Distracted driving can happen at any age and have devastating results. A momentary lapse of focus can result in debilitating injuries and tragic, needless deaths. What’s even more horrible about distractions that cause car accidents is that these accidents are completely preventable.
The attorneys with the Jones Law Group have seen far too many instances where distracted driving has torn families apart. Accidents caused by this senseless behavior either caused their loved ones to face a lifetime of disability or robbed them of their beloved family members forever. They’ve also placed undeserved financial burdens on those affected.
If the negligence of a distracted driver has impacted you or someone you love, let us work to help you obtain the compensation you have coming. Schedule a free case evaluation by contacting us online or calling (727) 571-1333.
The following is a look at 10 of the most common distractions that cause car accidents.
1. Texting or Talking on the Phone
Just about everyone has a smartphone – and there are far too many of us who are, frankly, addicted to them. Not being able to look at their phone for even a little while can seem like a huge imposition. For some people, it’s impossible.
But when a driver looks at their phone while in motion, that’s crossing the line. It’s even worse when they take their hands off of the wheel to send a text or they become so engrossed in a conversation that they lose focus on the No. 1 priority – driving.
You might not realize this, but reading a text takes an average of five seconds. A car traveling 55 miles an hour goes 80 feet per second. So, that means checking a text message can cause a driver to take their eyes off of the road for the amount of time it basically takes them to go the length of a football field.
How can someone who does this hope to see a motorcyclist trying to change lanes in front of them? How can they react fast enough when a pedestrian unexpectedly tries to cross the road? They can’t – and that can lead to a tragedy.
2. Putting on Makeup
People want to look their best when they show up for work, an interview, or some other important occasion. That’s obviously understandable. But the car isn’t the place to apply makeup. If doing so is that important, they should pull over a mile or so before they get to their destination or just wait until they get to the parking lot. There’s simply no excuse for doing this while driving – no excuse at all.
3. Checking Emails or Social Media
It’s incredible to realize just how many people do this. Researchers conducting a survey found that 21% of respondents actually admitted they checked or sent emails while driving in the previous 90 days. The number of people who actually do this is undoubtedly much higher.
No email – and especially no social media post – is worth risking the lives of other motorists. They can wait until the driver gets to a safe place.
4. Changing the Music
Most drivers want to hear music while they’re in motion. But when they have to divert their eyes to change stations, they won’t be able to react to any sudden change in the road. If a driver is familiar enough with their vehicle, they should be able to do so without having to look.
5. Talking to Someone in the Back Seat
Think of the mechanics of trying to make eye contact when having a conversation with someone behind you. That requires turning around, right? Just think about how dangerous that can be when you’re trying to drive a car. When someone does this, they can lose focus so badly that they could conceivably veer into oncoming traffic. No conversation – no matter what the subject may be – is important enough to turn around while driving.
6. Looking for Something
It can obviously be incredibly frustrating when something falls between the car seat and the console. It can even be maddening. But no matter what that item may be, finding it can wait until the trip is over. If it’s that critical to find it, find a place to pull over and park before performing your search.
7. Looking for Directions
When someone tries to set up their GPS – or even worse, try to read a road map – when they’re driving a car, that’s a recipe for disaster. Set the GPS up before you leave, or have the volume turned high enough so you can hear when you need to make the next turn. Don’t have the radio so loud that it drowns out the directions.
If you’re on the go – like a lot of us are – you need to get your nourishment wherever and whenever you can. But that should never include eating or drinking while your car is going 50, 60, or 70 miles an hour. You shouldn’t do it while your car is moving, period – even if you’re crawling in traffic. If you have to eat, find the nearest parking lot and then resume your trip. Doing so won’t just reduce the chances of getting into a wreck. It will also help keep you from getting mustard on your shirt.
Whether you call it daydreaming, being lost in thought, or something else, it’s one of the most common causes of distracted driving accidents. Your eyes might be on the road, and both hands are on the steering wheel, but your mind is elsewhere. Drivers who daydream will find it almost impossible to react should some sort of unexpected event occur, such as an animal crossing their path or another motorist stopping suddenly.
10. Events Outside the Vehicle
Far too many drivers will “rubberneck” as they pass the scene of an accident or look at a billboard on a highway. They’ll also look at the scenery, a roadside monument, or another type of attraction. Again, this takes their eyes off the road and increases the chance of a potentially catastrophic accident.
Contact Jones Law Group to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation if You’ve Been Involved in a Car Accident
Talk to a Jones Law Group distracted driving accident attorney for more information on how we may be able to help you obtain maximum compensation for your injury. You can use our online form, or you can call (727) 571-1333 for a free consultation.