Most of us who drive on a regular basis are well-acquainted with the idea of distracted driving. We know the dangers that come with it and the potential damage it can cause in people’s lives.
Every day around nine people lose their lives and over 1,000 are injured in car crashes involving a distracted driver.
Most of the focus is narrowed in on texting while driving and for good reason. Whether you are checking a message or sending one out, on average, you will spend five seconds doing so.
Five seconds at 55 mph means your eyes are off the road for the length of a football field.
Considering the speed limit is much higher on many highways, you can imagine what happens with someone driving much faster and taking their focus off of driving for longer.
Our personal injury McAllen lawyers here at J. Gonzalez Law Firm support the many efforts to end texting while driving. But it is also important to recognize that distracted driving includes much more than just checking our phones and texting.
What Else Distracts Us?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gives a pretty straightforward definition when letting drivers know what falls under the umbrella of distracted driving.
Just about anything that takes any part of our attention away from the task of driving qualifies as distracted driving.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) goes a little bit further by breaking potential distractions down into three categories: visual, manual, and cognitive.
The first two are easier to measure and observe. A visual distraction takes our eyes off the road and a manual one occupies one (or both) of our hands and takes them off the wheel.
Cognitive distractions take our mind off driving but they are a little bit harder to quantify. There is research at MIT that has gone into trying to figure out exactly all the mental factors that go into distracted driving in and around accidents.
A lot of things we may think of as harmless, like looking for a radio station or talking to someone riding along with us, make us less aware. This can take both our eyes away from driving and one of our hands.
The same potential for distraction exists with useful tools, like navigation systems, even when they are hands-free.
The time spent programming a route or adjusting to a re-route can swing our visual and manual attention away from driving.
We are all also guilty of doing things in a rush throughout the day while trying to squeeze the most out of our time.
One of the most common is eating on the road during a lunch break because we spent part of it running another errand.
Using even just one hand to eat combined with rushing to our next stop or back to work impairs our ability to concentrate on driving conditions.Avoid eating, working the radio or navigation system & anything that takes your hands of the wheels #RGV… Click To Tweet
What Can We Do to Help?SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions), they can make a change in the driving habits of others.
Parents can go a long way in lowering the number of distracted driving accidents by setting an example for the younger drivers in their family.
Choosing to not drive distracted, as well as speaking with their children and other young drivers they know about the dangers of distractions on the road will help to set a standard for safe driving.
Companies and schools can reinforce these high standards for both parents and student drivers.
Schools can distribute information about distracted driving and invite students to pledge against it.
J. Gonzalez Law Firm encourages everyone to do their part against all forms of distracted driving. If you have been injured in a distracted driving accident, we are here to help get you the justice you deserve.
Contact our personal injury lawyers in McAllen today at (956) 630-6700 and let us go to work for you. Our legal team will not stop until you have the justice you deserve and the compensation you need to get your life moving forward once again.
We will not let those who have hurt you get away with their recklessness.