Distracted driving is being discussed so often in the media that the phrase is becoming commonplace, so regular that some drivers tune it out when it is aired. Others hear the works distracted driving and immediately think of texting while driving or using a cell phone behind the wheel but may not think of anything else.
But distraction takes many more forms than just a cell phone and new data is suggesting that any form of distraction can be an extreme issue for roadway safety.
Based upon information from Virginia Tech, the Huffington Post reports that distraction can double the odds of a car accident taking place. If a crash does happen, vehicles will most likely be damaged, leading to financial costs to repair or replace them. Occupants of the cars may be hurt and may be in need of medical treatment. And some victims may be forced to miss time from work, preventing them from earning the wages they otherwise should have and limiting their ability to support themselves and their families.
Distraction is such a wide-ranging issue that it can be difficult to identify and track. For this most recent study, researchers placed cameras and sensors inside participant’s vehicles to monitor their actions while they drove and then tallied the activities which were deemed to be distracting. They determined that younger motorists were more likely to engage in distracted driving than older drivers and that of the 900 severe crashes that occurred, approximately 68 percent of them involved some form of distraction.
This study is calling attention to the myriad possibilities for distractions while operating a motor vehicle in addition to the use of a cell phone. Among observed distractions that increased the odds of a serious accident were fatigue or tiredness, using a GPS or other touch screen device, engaging with a passenger, reaching for an object within the car, and reading while driving.
Other studies around the country have revealed things like eating to be a distraction, and many reports happen annually of drivers who said they were daydreaming or simply lost their focus, leading to a distracted driving car accident. Rubbernecking, or looking at an accident nearby, is also blamed for numerous collisions each year.
If you drive in Chicago or its surrounding suburbs, the most important thing you can do is to be aware of your driving habits. Refrain from engaging in any activities that pose a risk to you or to others, no matter how tempting it can be. And also note that the use of hands-free devices for making cell phone calls does not provide a significant reduction in collision risks when compared to handheld use, despite the commonly held belief to the contrary, so avoid using your cell phone entirely whenever possible.
If you have the bad luck to be involved in a texting while driving accident or in a crash involving another form of distraction, know that you may be entitled to financial compensation for your damages, including your medical expenses. The personal injury attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. offer a no-cost, no-obligation case consultation to all victims who call us toll free at (855) 529-2442 or locally at (312) 924-7575 to help victims who were hurt by the actions of others. We have a licensed lawyer standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week to speak with those who contact us and our legal team will keep everything discussed during the consultation confidential.
If you have questions, call Abels & Annes, P.C. now and let us help you.
Prior Blog Entry:
Winter Is Coming – Again – To Chicago, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, published February 23, 2016.
Distracted Drivers Are Even More Dangerous Than You Thought, by Carolyn Gregoire, The Huffington Post, published February 24, 2016.