When we hear of distracted driving accidents, some of us have mixed reactions. Some of us are sad to hear of another devastating car accident, and some of us listen with a tinge of guilt. Whether we want to admit it, we all have been distracted while driving. There is not one driver that hasn’t thought about checking their cell phone while sitting in traffic. However, we cannot forget how dreadful the outcome of distracted driving can be.
Here are a few reasons why distracted driving is more dangerous than people believe.
1. You can cause major damage in a matter of seconds
Do not let the amount of time fool you. All it takes to become involved in a car accident is to take your eyes off the road for a second. The second that you decide to adjust your radio station or try to eat something could be the same second that a pedestrian tries to cross the street, or a driver cuts you off on a roadway. Just taking your focus off the road for five seconds can be the equivalent of driving the length of a football field with a blindfold.
2. You can miss critical information
By taking your attention from the road for a few seconds, you are placing yourself in the position to miss crucial information on the roadways. While trying to respond to a text message, you may not pay attention to the change in traffic or the traffic signs warning you of an upcoming work zone.
3. The distractions take away critical senses when driving
Driving requires the use of all of your senses. You need your hands, vision, and mental awareness to operate your vehicle in the safest manner. The three types of common distractions are cognitive, visual, and manual. These are distractions that take your mental focus, your hands, and your vision away from the roads. The temporary loss of these senses can reduce your effectiveness as a driver.
4. You put yourself and others at risk when distracted
Becoming distracted can cause harm not only to yourself, but also to other drivers. One of the most dangerous distractions is cell phone use while driving, because it can take your mind, hands, and vision off driving. When your senses are taken off the road, the chances of becoming involved in a motor vehicle accident are greater. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that there were more than 3,100 people who died in distracted driving accidents in 2020.
5. You lose absolute control of your vehicle
The second that you become distracted; you surrender complete control of your vehicle. Losing control of your vehicle, even if it is for a second, can place yourself and other motorists and pedestrians in great harm. It is similar to losing control of a small tank. Even though your focus is taken away from the road for a second, it will take your brain 13 seconds for you to regain focus.
6. You can kill or cause serious harm to someone else
Most importantly, becoming distracted can cause you to seriously harm or kill another person. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that an average of nine people die in distracted driving accidents across the country each day. The NHTSA reports that there are nearly 434 people who die due to distracted driving accidents that involve cell phone use. The second it takes to check on your phone or your passengers is not worth it, because all it takes for a distracted driving accident to happen is three seconds.
7. It is an easy thing to do
The thing that makes distracted driving so dangerous is just how easy it is to do it. Drivers know that checking a cellphone or turning around to face passengers is dangerous – but it’s the OTHER stuff. It’s the way a changing billboard catches your eye or trying to grab your purse before it falls onto the floor, or reaching in the bag to find the last fry. It’s taking a quick peek at the car on the side of the road or trying to reroute the GPS to avoid a toll road. These small, everyday actions – the things we do without thinking about them whether we’re on foot or sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic – can happen so quickly that we simply miss things, because we’re used to multitasking.
But you cannot multitask behind the wheel. It could literally get you or someone you love killed.
How to prevent distracted driving accidents in Nashville
The best way to prevent distracted driving accidents is to eliminate the number of distractions and dedicate your full attention to driving. Some of the ways that you can do that include:
- Limiting the use of your phone. There are several ways that you can limit the use of your phone. One way is to place your phone on Do Not Disturb while driving. Another way is to set up hands-free access on your phone. Remember that under the law, it’s illegal to hold your phone and drive.
- Practice defensive driving. Defensive driving is a skillset that many drivers require. Increasing your defensive driving can help increase your focus on the road.
- Do not eat or drink anything while drivin Eating a snack or finger foods can sound good in theory, but they can still take your hands away from the road. If you suddenly spill something, it can also take your focus off the road.
- Reduce the amount of activity in the car. Even if you are traveling with passengers in your car, there are ways that you can maintain your focus on the road. You can ask your passengers to handle any unexpected calls or texts from your phone. The passengers in your car can also help with tasks like adjusting the GPS system.
When you are injured in a distracted driving accident, you want the best lawyer on your side to fight for your rights. At Rocky McElhaney Law Firm, our auto accident lawyers are dedicated to leveling the playing field for our clients. We use our resources and knowledge to present the best case possible for our clients. Call our office 615-425-2500 or submit our contact form to schedule a free consultation. We represent injured clients in Nashville, Hendersonville, and Clarksville.