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Types of Distracted Driving: The Dangers of Inattention

By Matthew Golitko on July 15, 2018

Aftermath of a motor vehicle collisionAccording to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving accidents claimed 3,450 lives in 2016. Distraction plays a role in around 25 percent of all fatal motor vehicle accidents. There are so many sources of distraction out there, which means this kind of inattention and recklessness can take different forms.

The team at our Indianapolis, IN law firm would like to go over some of the types of driver distraction that may occur. This should help you understand why you should focus on the road when you are behind the wheel.

Texting While Driving

Texting while driving keeps your eyes off the road and hands off the wheel. For perspective, think of it this way: in just 5 seconds traveling at highway speeds, a vehicle travels the length of a football field. So much can happen in such a short amount of time, and it’s been estimated that texting while driving is six times more likely to get you involved in an accident than drunk driving.

Calling and Other Cellphone Use

Texting isn’t the only deadly behavior involving cellphones and driving. If you make a call or use other functions of your phone without a hands-free set, this could also lead to catastrophic collisions. This is why Indiana has a state law that restricts drivers under 21 from using their cellphone behind the wheel. (Note that Indiana also bands all texting behind the wheel.)

Eating While Driving

Eating a small handful of food to snack on or taking a sip of a beverage is fine. If you’re eating a sandwich or other food items, you could wind up taking your hands off the wheel and endangering yourself, your passengers, and others. Only snack behind the wheel, and save meals for when you’re parked and out of traffic.

Grooming While Driving

Many people comb or brush their hair, do their makeup, and engage in other common grooming practices while they are driving their car. These actions can occupy your hands or take your attention off of the road, resulting in distraction and auto collisions.

Reaching for Objects in the Vehicle

Sometimes an object you need is located in the backseat or has fallen under your seat. Drivers may attempt to reach for these objects while the vehicle is in motion, which could lead to distraction as well as loss of vehicle control. Be sure to pull over, park, and ensure your vehicle is out of the path of traffic before grabbing the object you need.

Rubbernecking

Curiosity is all too human, which is fine when it comes to seeking knowledge but bad news when it comes to driving. If you rubberneck at something on the side of the road, your attention isn’t on what’s ahead of you. These dangers are obviously greater when people take out their phones to take video or pictures of an incident on the side of the road. Avoid rubbernecking to protect yourself and others on the road.

Listening to Music Too Loud

Music can help pass the time, but playing it too loud could lead to serious distractions. You may not hear sirens, horns, or other sounds the could clue you into approaching hazards. Play your music at a reasonable volume to remain safe while on the road.

Speak with the Lawyers of Golitko & Daly

For more information about your legal rights following a motor vehicle collision, be sure to contact the accident attorneys of Golitko & Daly. We are here to help you in your time of legal need.

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