How often do car accidents involve distracted driving?

person holding a mug while they are driving distracted driving

From time to time, we are all guilty of engaging in unsafe driving practices such as using our electronics, eating or drinking, changing the radio station, talking to passengers, or grooming ourselves while behind the wheel. Some of these actions such as talking to passengers or taking a sip from your water bottle may not seem like dangerous actions while behind the wheel. However, anything that distracts you from driving could cause you to be involved in a serious auto accident. According to the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration (NHTSA) in 2020 over 3,000 people were killed in auto accidents that were caused by distracted driving. This is an unfortunately high number of fatalities since engaging in this unsafe driving practice is entirely preventable. Motorists are legally obligated to exercise reasonable care while behind the wheel to keep those on the road out of harm’s way. If a motorist fails to abide by the rules of the road, they increase the likelihood of being involved in a serious accident. If you have been injured in a car accident as a result of another motorist’s distracted driving, don’t hesitate to contact a seasoned Chesterfield County Car Accident Lawyer who can help you hold negligent parties accountable for their reckless driving behavior that caused you harm.

What is distracted driving?

Essentially, when a motorist is engaging in an activity that diverts their attention away from driving, it is considered distracted driving. Not only is distracted driving extremely dangerous, but it is also illegal. It is illegal because distracted driving significantly increases the risk of a collision. Unfortunately, anything inside or outside the vehicle can take a motorist’s attention away from driving. It is impossible to drive safely when your attention is not fully on the road. While behind the wheel, you need at least three seconds to react to changing road conditions and hazards. Not paying attention to driving will cause you to have slower reaction times, meaning you won’t be able to react in time to hazards. This often results in tragic collisions. Several different types of distraction could pull your attention away from the road. Different types of distraction fall into the following categories:

  • Manual distractions: These types of distractions cause you to remove both of your hands from the steering wheel. An example of a manual distraction is when you reach for your cell phone to answer a text message.
  • Visual distractions: These types of distractions cause you to divert your eyes off the road. An example of a visual distraction is when you check your GPS.
  • Auditory distractions: These types of distractions are sounds. Auditory distractions may include a screaming child in the backseat or listening to conversations happening between passengers.
  • Cognitive distractions: These types of distractions occur when you feel a strong sense of emotion and your mind wanders off. An example of cognitive distraction is daydreaming while behind the wheel.

Regardless of the type of distraction, diverting your attention from driving for any reason is extremely dangerous and increases your chances of being involved in an auto accident. To prevent serious accidents and injuries, you must refrain from engaging in distracted driving.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident as a result of distracted driving, get in touch with one of our determined attorneys who can help you seek reasonable compensation for your damages. Our firm is committed to helping our clients seek the justice they deserve.