Distracted driving is a problem that affects the safety and well-being of every Pennsylvania driver, yet it is a more complex issue than most people think. While distraction is commonly associated with texting, the reality is that there are many more things besides a phone that can divert a driver's attention.
When a driver is distracted, everyone is at risk of an accident, including the driver, passengers and people in other vehicles. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that every day, approximately eight people die and 1,160 people suffer injuries in accidents involving distraction. Not only is distracted driving extremely dangerous, it is completely avoidable and inexcusable.
Three different kinds of distraction
The CDC defines distracted driving as any activity that takes a person's attention while he or she is behind the wheel. There are three different kinds of distraction, as follows:
- Visual: Visual distraction involves anything that takes a driver's eyes off the road. From looking at a GPS system to noticing a billboard, there are innumerable things that could cause visual distraction.
- Manual: Manual distraction includes anything that may cause a driver to remove one or both hands from the wheel. This could include adjusting the radio, grabbing a cellphone and much more.
- Cognitive: Cognitive distraction includes anything that may be mentally distracting, such as stress or conversing with a passenger. Even with both hands on the wheel, a cognitively distracted driver may be just as dangerous as one who is texting.
Some behaviors displayed by drivers, such as texting or talking on the phone, can involve all three types of distraction. Texting, perhaps the most common and most dangerous form of distracted driving, tends to take a driver's attention for longer periods of time. For example, while driving at a speed of 55 miles per hour, one text can take a driver's attention long enough to cover the distance of a football field.
Did a distracted driver cause your accident?
If you were hurt in an accident related to distracted driving, you could have a rightful claim to financial compensation. When you work with an experienced lawyer, it is possible to clearly establish the most appropriate course of legal action for you.
Distracted drivers should be accountable for the damages and injuries caused by their reckless and negligent actions. If you believe that distraction played a role in your accident, it can be beneficial to secure experienced legal help in order to better understand how to move forward with a civil claim.