When most people imagine distracted driving, cell phones come to mind. However, there is a myriad of distractions inside and outside the vehicle – all of which can draw the driver’s attention long enough to cause a crash.
According to Distraction.gov, distracted driving accidents killed 3,179 people and injured 431,000 others in 2014. Fortunately, you can minimize your risk of becoming a statistic by identifying and avoiding common driver distractions, which include:
- Cell phones;
- Roadside distractions;
- Eating and drinking;
- Reaching across the vehicle;
- And adjusting entertainment and climate controls.
If you were injured by a distracted driver in Louisiana, contact Morris Bart, LLC. A Baton Rouge accident lawyer can evaluate your wreck, interview witnesses and determine if you may have grounds for a claim.
Here is a brief overview of seven common – and often fatal – driver distractions:
- Cell Phones
Cell phone use is a main contributor to fatal accidents because it distracts the driver on visual, cognitive and physical levels. According to the Federal Communications Commission, driving while using a cell phone can be as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol.
Many drivers underestimate how distracting passengers can be. They contribute to accidents by talking loud, playing music, arguing or engaging in other distracting behavior. For this reason, inexperienced drivers should not carry passengers for at least one year.
Daydreaming is particularly common among drivers on long trips. It may prevent drivers from noticing unexpected hazards in the road, or braking when traffic slows down.
- Roadside Distractions
Not all distractions originate inside the vehicle. Billboards, animals, pedestrians and accident scenes can distract drivers long enough to cause a crash.
- Eating and Drinking
Many drivers think that eating and drinking behind the wheel is a safe way to save time. Unfortunately, this can distract a driver physically and visually, which increases the likelihood of crashing. Spilling hot coffee is a common contributor to accidents.
- Reaching Across the Vehicle
If a driver reaches across the vehicle to open the glove box or pick up an object, then he or she may not notice a hazard in the road, or traffic ahead slowing down. Not only is the driver visually distracted, but he or she also will not be in the ideal position to avoid an accident.
- Adjusting Entertainment and Climate Controls
Many modern vehicles have complex in-car audio and climate controls. Even hands-free systems can be distracting. It is best for drivers to set their audio and climate controls before departing. If you are carrying a passenger, ask him or her to make the necessary adjustments.
If you were injured by a negligent driver, contact a Baton Rouge accident attorney from Morris Bart, LLC. You may be entitled to compensation for lost income, health-care bills and other damages. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 800-537-8185.