With the increased attention on distracted drivers, it is not uncommon for individuals to recognize their own personal distractions and actively work to stay safe. They will wait to eat breakfast until they arrive at work, they will put their cell phone into “do not disturb” mode, they will program the GPS unit while still parked safely in the driveway. Unfortunately, there are numerous other types of distractions.
While most people understand the dangers of continuing a cell phone conversation while driving, an in-person conversation can be just as dangerous. It is so common to have a conversation with your friend in the passenger seat that no one recognizes the element of distraction in that activity. Any type of conversation can be considered a cognitive distraction as you listen to your friend’s comment and then consider your response. This can also be a visual distraction if you turn to look at the other vehicle occupants with whom you are conversing.
In adult drivers, however, there seems to be a benefit to having a passenger in the car. The passenger will likely moderate the conversation when driving conditions become dangerous and can also point out road hazards in a way that it would be impossible for a phone participant to accomplish.
For younger drivers, the converse is often true. Younger drivers might fall victim to peer pressure or the subconscious desire to impress their friends with aggressive driving tactics. Additionally, there is generally no moderation in the conversation. Vehicle occupants can quickly become loud, boisterous and more distracting as the conversation continues.
If you were injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, it is wise to seek the guidance of a motor vehicle accident attorney. A lawyer can answer your questions and provide the representation you need from start to finish.