A moment’s inattention is all it takes to cause a deadly wreck. Thanks to the proliferation of smartphones and other electronic devices, distracted-driving accidents have become alarmingly common.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, distracted drivers kill at least eight people and injure 1,161 every day. The most common causes of these wrecks are:
- Changing the music or temperature;
- Drinking or eating;
- Reaching across the car; and
- Being lost in thought.
If you were hit by a distracted motorist in Mississippi, contact Morris Bart, LTD. A car accident lawyer in Gulfport can help you claim compensation for medical bills, time off work and other damages. Call 800-537-8185 to arrange a free consultation.
Let’s take a closer look at six common causes of distracted-driving wrecks:
Texting while driving can be just as dangerous as being drunk behind the wheel. According to the Mississippi State Department of Health, distracted driving causes 80 percent of all wrecks and at least 65 percent of narrow escapes.
To curb these statistics, state legislators made it illegal to text or use social networking sites behind the wheel. The fine is $100, but it will cost significantly more if you damage property or people.
- Changing the Music or Temperature
Fiddling with climate controls, radio stations or CDs is another deadly distraction. If you want to adjust the music or temperature, pull over or ask a passenger to do it for you.
A well-behaved passenger can help you navigate the road safely, but a loud, rowdy, disrespectful one can cause you to crash. According to Teen Driver Source, having two or more passengers in a vehicle triples the risk of a teen driver causing a deadly collision. Even the safest, most experienced adult driver is at risk when transporting a distracting passenger.
- Drinking or Eating
Far too many Americans eat their breakfasts while driving to work. This will distract you physically, visually and cognitively, thus increasing your risk of crashing. Drinking coffee and other hot beverages behind the wheel is particularly dangerous.
- Reaching Across the Car
Drivers should always be in the ideal position to react to unexpected hazards. If you are reaching across your vehicle, you will not be prepared to hit your brakes if the vehicle in front of you stops abruptly. Likewise, you may not be able to notice or maneuver around potholes, puddles and animals that unexpectedly dart in the road.
- Being Lost in Thought
According to the American Automobile Association, the average American spends 46 minutes per day behind the wheel. Drivers are bound to become complacent from time to time, but daydreaming can be deadly. If you feel unable to focus on the road, pull over and rest.
If you were injured by a distracted driver in Mississippi, contact a Gulfport accident attorney from Morris Bart, LTD. Our firm has been representing the injured for more than 30 years, and we can help you navigate the claims process. Call 800-537-8185 to schedule a free initial consultation.