Staying Safe by Avoiding These 5 Fatal Driving Distractions
Distracted driving is an inherently dangerous driving behavior in Texas and across the country. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,166 people lost their lives in distracted driving accidents in 2017. Each year, the CDC estimates that nearly 400,000 people are injured by distracted drivers. In all, distracted driving is a factor in 9% of all fatality or injury causing accidents in the United States. It is a growing problem and the number of people killed or injured by distracted drivers in Texas is set to surpass the numbers killed by drunk drivers. Because of the dangers involved, it's crucial to avoid the five most common forms of distraction that can lead to the need to hire an auto accident attorney.
Dangerous Driving Behaviors
1. Texting/Talking - Data collected by the National Safety Council indicates that using cell phones while driving results in 1.6 million motor vehicle accidents each year. As of 2017, reading, writing, or sending text messages while driving is illegal in Texas. This change supported by auto accident attorneys in Texas occurred following data that showed in 2016 more than 109,000 accidents in the state were caused by distracted drivers. These accidents caused 455 fatalities and 3,087 serious personal injuries.
2. "Daydreaming" - Daydreaming causes as many, if not more, accidents than texting and talking while driving. Thinking about work, pondering weekend activities, or consideration of anything but the road ahead can have lethal consequences. Drivers should always keep their focus on the road ahead and the position of other vehicles on the roadway.
3. Adjusting Controls - Many vehicles are equipped with digital control panels that control everything from the radio and the air conditioner, to the GPS and the rear camera. Adjusting these controls for even a few seconds is hazardous as it causes drivers to shift their focus away from the road. One or two seconds is all it takes to cause a driver to miss a critical detail that can result in a motor vehicle accident.
4. Eating/Drinking - The NHTSA estimates that drivers who eat or drink while driving are 3.6 times more likely to cause a car crash than drivers who focus on the road. Between 70-80% of drivers eat or drink while driving, yet it is one of the easiest behaviors to avoid and change.
5. Distractions with Passengers - From children in the backseat to friends in the passenger seat, drivers who are distracted by passengers in the vehicle are not focusing on control of the vehicle. When passengers are in the car, drivers must keep their focus on the road and should never allow themselves to lose focus on operating the vehicle.
Distracted driving accidents are on the rise. When you're injured by a distracted driver in Texas, you need an auto accident attorney who can help you secure the compensation you need to recover from your injuries. Contact Welmaker Law Firm and our attorneys will help you understand your legal rights and the compensation you're eligible to pursue.