The Three Types of Distracted Driving Dangers and How to Avoid Them
Driving safety technology has evolved remarkably over the past two decades. Side impact airbags, low tire pressure warnings, blind spot alert warnings and automatic braking are just a few examples. However, none of this technology has value if the driver of the car is not paying full attention due to distraction. Today’s drivers are offered more distractions than ever before, despite the latest advances in safety technology.
The distractions that drivers face today can be classified as a trilogy. Following is a breakdown of the three types of distracted driving.
· Manual Distraction – Manual driver distraction has markedly increased in recent years, becoming the number one reason for distracted driving accidents. Anytime you to take your hands of the wheel or your feet off the pedals you are manually distracted. Picking up your phone, retrieving a dropped or fallen item, disciplining or helping children in the back seat, eating or drinking are all forms of manual distraction and decidedly dangerous. When combined with other distractions such as reading or applying makeup, the likelihood of an accident increases immensely.
Using a technological system or device such as a visual navigation system can produce combination of multiple distractions. The driver is using his hand, his eyes and voice and often his mind, and is no longer focused on driving.
Cellphone use is highest among drivers in the 16 through 24-year old age group according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Older drivers are also prone to using cell phones albeit at a slightly lower rate. It is always wise to keep a cell phone silenced and out of sight when driving. No call is so important that lives should be put at risk. If a call must be taken or made, pull off the road. Some highways today even have designated call areas.
· Visual Distraction – To receive your driver’s license you had to pass a vision test. In most states the vision test is only given once, often at age 16 or so. It is well known that as people age their vision may decline, or they may develop eye conditions that impair peripheral vision, color determination, create blind spots or shadows. Some symptoms often indicate a serious problem such as cataracts or retinal detachment.
Anyone experiencing visual disturbances should visit an ophthalmologist as urged by the National Eye Institute. Even people without visual disturbances should get their eyes checked at least every two years.
Wearing proper eyewear such as polarized sunglasses to reduce glare and UV rays is a proven method of significantly reducing visual distraction. Your eyes will be protected from damage and you will see much better during the glariest hours of the brightest days.
Many other visual distractions are out there, for example, inclement weather conditions, pedestrians, other vehicle mishaps, passengers, children and pets in the car, windshield obstructions like dirt, cracks and objects hanging from the rearview mirror. It is important that you take every measure to maximize driver visual awareness by eliminating impairments and ignoring activities such as roadside commotion.
· Cognitive Distraction – Truckers often mention driving for long periods of time with no memory of the trip. That is one form of cognitive distraction that can happen to anyone. Keeping the task of driving as your only focus can often be arduous, especially on long trips, but none the less essential for the safety of you, your passengers and other drivers and pedestrians
Having an engaging conversation with a passenger is a cognitive distraction. Thinking about work, bills, the weekend or anything else besides driving is your signal to refocus on the road ahead. Even hands free phones and navigation devices have been shown recently to be almost as distracting as hands on devices due to cognitive distraction.
Vititoe Law Group is committed to making our nations highways safer and free from the dangers of distracted drivers. If you were injured in an accident as a driver, passenger or pedestrian or a loved one was hurt or even lost, contact a highly qualified auto accident attorney at Vititoe Law Group today. Our lawyers will thoroughly investigate to determine if distracted driving or violation of the law played a part in the mishap. You may be entitled to significant compensation.