Dangers of Distracted Driving
Many people consider themselves to be excellent drivers. They would never drink and drive or speed. Yet they allow themselves to perform simple acts while driving that fall under the heading of distracted driving and can easily result in traffic accidents that cause property damage, injury or death.
While driving requires the full-time attention of the driver - unfortunately many things can lead a driver to be inattentive - and it takes only a moment to cause an accident.
Today's technologies have turned automobiles into the new entertainment center. The modern family can often be seen viewing television and videos, playing video games, chatting on the phone, using a computer, getting directions and dining - all in the comfort of their vehicle.
What is Distracted Driving?
Unfortunately, though, these technological amenities are really distractions in disguise.
According to one government source there are three main distractions.
The first is visual which causes drivers to take their eyes off the road.
The second is manual and results in drivers removing their hands from the steering wheel.
The third and final distraction is cognitive which means drivers take their mind off their driving.
One example of a grossly abhorrent distraction is texting while driving and many states including Texas have undertaken legislation to ban it. However, simply making the practice illegal does not stop distracted driving accidents from happening.
More education is needed for people to understand the risks and consequences of distracted driving. Initiatives such as "don't let LOL become DOA" and others are effective but very limited in scope.
But other distractions such as grooming while driving or even changing radio stations can lead to traffic accidents because the driver has put something ahead of their first responsibility behind the wheel - that is to pay attention to the road.
Distracted Driving Impacts Everyone!
Distracted driving endangers not only other motorists, but also pedestrians and bicycle riders.
According to the National Traffic Safety Administration about 3500 people die in accidents with distracted driving as a factor each year.
The recommendations to give back to our communities and make our roads safer include:
- Turn off your cell phone and put it out of reach while driving.
- Be a positive role model for youth regarding texting and driving.
- Be an engaged passenger and call out drivers using their cell phones.
- Always buckle up and insist others do.
Don't drive distractedly - in a matter of seconds you could change your life or others forever.
The Baumgartner Law Firm is a Houston personal injury law firm.