You might think of cell phones when you hear the term "distracted driving," but that's not always the case. Your state of mind factors in there too. If you've just had an argument with your spouse, or if your job is stressing you out - the overall impact of the tension you are experiencing can be distracting when you are behind the wheel.
Define 'Distracted Driving'
Distracted driving is the act of operating a motor vehicle while multitasking. This could mean that you're texting or talking on the phone, but it could also mean that your mind is simply a million miles away, focused on that dismal presentation you just gave or on that argument you had with your teenage daughter last night.
Consequences of Distracted Driving
More and more cases are hitting the news of distracted drivers causing accidents that result in serious personal injury or wrongful death. Don't become a sad statistic in the morning paper. Every driver can take steps to avoid distractions on the road.
- Never text or use a handheld device while driving.
- Set your radio station or insert your CD into the player before starting out.
- Don't drive when you're angry. Pull over in a safe place and count to ten as many times as it takes.
- Don't drive when you're sleepy.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration says that in 2013, 10 percent of all fatal crashes involved at least one distracted driver. Law enforcement agencies pointed to distracted driving in 18 percent of accidents that resulted in personal injury that year. It is important to note that texting behind the wheel is not the only form of distraction. However, recent research says that texting and driving is more dangerous than losing concentration due to anxiety over life's troubles.
Researchers tested 59 volunteers and found that whether drivers were texting, challenged with emotional stress or simply facing non-emotional absent mindedness the drivers became jittery in the driver's seat. However, when texting, drivers were much more likely to swerve and engage in other forms of unsafe driving.
Distractions are dangerous and as the NHTSA statistics indicate, distractions can be deadly. Victims and families of victims of a negligent driver can have a difficult time focusing after a distracted driver causes harm. Seeking the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer can help victims seek justice for their losses.