Distracted driving is dangerous and responsible for several traffic accidents, injuries, and deaths yearly. According to the United States Department of Transportation, distracted driving claimed 3,142 lives in 2019. But despite the number of fatalities and injuries distracted drivers leave in their wake, several people still operate a vehicle distracted.
For this reason, it is crucial for drivers and other road users to know how distracted driving causes accidents. If you find yourself in a collision caused by a distracted driver, our Ohio distracted driving accident attorneys can help you. We offer excellent legal advice and representation.
What Is Distracted Driving?
It means that rather than focusing on the road or the task at hand, your physical or mental concentration is on something else. Any activity that takes your attention off the task of driving is a distraction. The Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC) lists three types of distraction. They are:
It involves taking your hand from the steering wheel to carry out any other function. This includes reaching for food, changing the radio station, or anything else in the car that appears simple and close to you.
It involves doing any task that takes your eyes off the road. It could be looking at your phone, searching for an object in the back, looking at billboards, or rubbernecking to stare at an accident.
It involves being mentally engaged and disconnecting from the task at hand or your environment. Cognitive distraction is also known as a mental distraction because the driver’s mind is elsewhere. For example, a person in a heightened emotional state or indulging in a daydream while driving is mentally distracted.
How Distractions Cause Road Accidents
According to the CDC, one in five people who died in distracted driving accidents in 2018 were not in vehicles. They were either walking, riding their bikes, or standing outside a car. This shows that crashes involving distracted drivers do not affect the motorist alone. An innocent bystander can be adversely affected.
So, how exactly do distracted driving cause accidents?
Driving is a physical ability that requires:
- Muscle strength and endurance
- Range of motion of the extremities, trunk, and neck.
- Sensation & Proprioception
- Quick, precise, and coordinated movements
Thus, when a driver is distracted, they will be unable to carry out the above fully. This is because distractions affect your cognitive ability and reduce reaction time. Cognitive ability is general mental capability involving reasoning, problem-solving, planning, abstract thinking, complex idea comprehension, and learning from experience.
Suppose while driving you decided to change the radio station. It’s a task that shouldn’t take more than a few seconds. But while doing that, a child or animal runs into the road and suddenly comes into your line of sight as you refocus on the road. Then, while trying to avoid hitting them, you go off the roadway and crash.
The above scenario shows that the accident was avoidable if you kept your eyes on the road. In addition, the analogy reveals two types of distractions — visual and manual. Ultimately, it takes a distracted driver about three seconds to crash, so it’s better to avoid all forms of distractions.
Triple Threat Driving Distractions
This refers to a single distraction that involves the three types of distracted driving. It covers visual, manual, and cognitive distractions, meaning your eyes are off the road, your hand is busy, and your mind is elsewhere. Triple threat distractions are more common than most people realize.
An excellent example is adjusting the car’s heat. It’s a mental distraction to realize you’re hot and want to change the heat. Then you look at the control knobs (visual distraction) and start adjusting the knobs (manual distraction) until you get the perfect temperature. The time and concentration it takes to do this are enough to cause a road accident.
What Should You Do After a Distracted Driving Accident?
Following a crash with a distracted driver, you need to establish the other driver was distracted with evidence. However, getting evidence to prove distracted driving is not easy. So you can request any dashcam camera footage or speak with witnesses who may have noticed the distraction. You can also request CCTV footage of the crash area from the investigating authority.
Contact Ohio Car Accident Lawyers Today!
Proving distracted driving alone would seem like an arduous task. But with our Ohio auto accident lawyers, it would be easier as we have experience establishing a distracted driver’s liability. We will also help you get the maximum compensation. So, contact us today for a free case review.