Too many drivers assume they have the experience necessary to continue driving safely while performing additional tasks. Talking on the phone, eating, grooming – these activities all pull attention from the primary task of driving. Unfortunately, people often overestimate their abilities and create unsafe situations for every other driver on the road.
The New York Public Transit Association (NYPTA) reminds drivers that distractions can come in many forms, including:
- Talking on a cell phone
- Talking to a passenger
Cell phone use alone accounts for approximately 400,000 fatalities per year. Almost 80 percent of crashes occur within three seconds of some form of driver distraction.
Dangerous distractions fall into three categories.
- Visual distractions: This includes any activity that draws the eyes off the road. Reading a text, reading a map or scrolling through addresses in a GPS unit can all be visual distractions.
- Manual distractions: This category includes any activity that forces a driver to remove the hands and/or feet from control surfaces. Reaching into the passenger seat to grab a snack, for example, or taking a moment to change into a more comfortable pair of shoes would be considered manual distractions.
- Cognitive distractions: These can include anything that takes your mind off the task at hand. Letting your mind wander or daydreaming, for example, can all pull your attention off the road.
The accidents caused by distracted drivers can result in devastating injuries. Brain damage, spinal cord damage, paralysis and amputation can have a catastrophic impact on the victim and the entire family. After an accident, it is wise to seek the counsel of an experienced personal injury attorney who can answer your questions and provide the legal guidance you need.