No matter how long you’ve had your driver’s license, driving is a skill that requires your full attention. The slightest distraction can result in you or a loved one being seriously injured in a Bucks County distracted-driving accident. Understanding the basics of driving distractions can be the difference between life and death.
Three categories of driving distractions
Driving distractions can be separated into three categories. They include:
- Visual distractions.
- Cognitive distractions that take your mind off the road.
- Manual distractions that result in you taking at least one hand off the steering wheel.
Five most common driving distractions
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), driver distractions are the leading cause of most auto accidents. The five most common types of distractions include:
- Cell phone use, including texting. Texting and sending or receiving cell-phone calls is one of the most dangerous activities you can do when operating a motorized vehicle. Using your cell phone requires you to take your eyes off the road, which may result in your inability to avoid a sudden road hazard.
- Reaching for and/or moving an object.This – at least partially – takes your eyes, hands, and mind off the task of driving, putting you at risk.
- Reading, such as a newspaper, map, or book. As unlikely as it might sound, some drivers read books and newspapers while they drive. Others take their eyes, hands, and minds off the task of driving to look at a map.
- Personal grooming, such as applying makeup. Your hands should be on the steering wheel at all times. You should avoid personal grooming, such as shaving, putting on makeup, or styling your hair when driving. This should be done before or after you get in your vehicle.
- Looking at an object or another accident outside of the vehicle. It’s very tempting to slow down and view another car accident. This is a common place for rear-end collisions. Even at slow speeds, a rear-end collision can lead to a serious injury. It’s important to keep your eyes on the vehicles ahead of you and avoid the temptation to look at another accident scene.
Other common distractions
A driving distraction is any activity or event that causes you to take your attention off the road. They are all considered deadly. Here is a list of other types of distractions drivers engage in on a daily basis that can result in a collision:
- Turning dials. Whether you are adjusting your radio dial or GPS, the few seconds it takes to perform these tasks can cause you to take your eyes off the road. You should pick your station, CD, or input your GPS coordinates before putting your car in drive.
- Dealing with small children. How many times have you turned your head to speak to or scold your children? Simple play can turn into fighting among kids. Your natural reaction may be to turn your head to address the problem. It’s best to pull over and deal with it then.
- Dealing with pets. There is nothing wrong with traveling with a pet. However, it is important to be aware that pets can pose a serious danger and should never be allowed to ride in your lap or in the front seat. They can quickly and unexpectedly jump into your lap causing you to lose control of your vehicle.
Three simple rules to follow
Road conditions, including the behavior of other drivers, can change in the blink of an eye. These sudden changes could leave you with little or no time to react. That is why it is important to follow these three simple rules when behind the wheel:
- Stay focused on what you are doing.
- Pay attention to your surroundings and the road ahead of you.
- Always expect the unexpected.
You never know when a sudden car accident is going to leave you with a serious injury; especially because you can’t control the driving habits of those you share the Pennsylvania roadways with. You could be left unable to play with your kids and facing a mountain of medical bills you can’t pay.
For that reason, you should call the experienced team at the Saile & Saile Law Firm. Our goal is for you to get the best medical treatment possible and to recover financially for your injuries. In addition, we will make sure the other insurance company does not take advantage of you.
To learn more about your case, order your free copy of our book, How to Maximize Your Pennsylvania Car Accident Case Before an Insurance Company Takes Advantage of You.
If you or someone you know was injured in a distracted driving accident, contact one of our experienced Bucks County auto accident attorneys at the Saile & Saile Law Firm at 215-642-2335. They can help you determine your next steps.