Distracted driving causes thousands of deaths each year. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving caused approximately 3,450 fatalities in 2016.
Maybe you've heard a lot about distractions but you're wondering exactly what that means. As experienced car accident lawyers serving all of Nebraska, we have seen our fair share of tragic crashes caused by carelessness. Below, see some of the most common sources of distraction behind the wheel.
Texting and Using Your Phone
Smartphones are everywhere these days. And while we all know the dangers of using a phone while driving, you still may see people doing it. Perhaps you use your own phone from time to time, while driving your car. Literally any use of the device can be distracting enough to cause an accident:
- Reading, typing or sending a text
- Talking on the phone
- Using an app or browser
- Listening to voicemails
Even when reading a text feels like it takes meaningless moments, it's more than enough time to end in disaster. The NHTSA says sending or reading a text for just 5 seconds at 55 miles per hour is akin to driving the length of a football field with your eyes shut.
Before starting your car, take the time to silence your phone, place it out of sight, even power it down if you need to in order to avoid its distraction. People trying to contact you can certainly wait. It's not worth the risk.
Eating or Drinking
A distraction is literally anything that takes your hands, eyes and/or mind off of the duty of driving. Driving is commonplace but it requires concentration, attention and skill. Eating and drinking are a couple of activities that may seem benign for a driver, but can actually be absorbing enough to cause a crash. These activities take full use of your hands away from the task of driving. Scenarios and obstacles pop up on the roads in an instant, and you want to make sure you are ready to respond to anything.
Interactions with Passengers
Consider the distracting nature of:
- Arguing with a passenger
- Getting into an emotional conversation with a passenger
- Breaking up a fight between children in the back seat
- Helping a passenger who is supposed to be helping you with navigation or the radio
Set a precedent and let your passengers know you intend to focus on the road. They'll be grateful for your careful, attentive driving, which better ensures their safe arrival at the destination.
What To Do Next
Many things can be sources of distraction. Be patient and remind yourself of the importance of focusing on the task at hand. Doing so can help you prevent serious accidents and injuries.
If you've been injured by a distracted driver in Omaha, Lincoln, Norfolk or elsewhere in Nebraska, please call our experienced accident attorneys at 402-371-4300, or email us using the form on this website. You deserve full and complete compensation for accident injuries caused by someone else. We will fight tirelessly in pursuit of the best possible outcome in your case.