As technologies for communication have improved over time, the frequency of using smartphones and handheld devices while driving has increased. As tempting as it is to look at your phone for updates from friends, family, and coworkers, the dangers of taking your eyes off the road are immense. Of course, distracted driving is not limited to just texting while driving, as essentially anything that pulls your attention away from the road is a hazardous distraction.
What Is Distracted Driving?
Most state Departments of Motor Vehicles (DMV) define distracted driving as not giving your full attention to the road. As simple as this description may be, it is sufficient, as it describes the root of the problem: a lack of attention to the task of safe driving. Although texting and driving is a prime example of driver distraction, it certainly isn’t the only offense.
Driving distractions can vary, such as:
- Eating or drinking
- Adjusting the radio or console
- Grooming or applying makeup
- Reaching for your phone
- Conversing with a passenger
- Reading a billboard or another roadside sign
At its simplest form, anything that takes a driver’s hands, eyes, or mind away from the task of operating a vehicle is considered a form of distracted driving. Texting is so dangerous because it distracts the hands, eyes, and mind all at once.
Distractions are Dangerous, Even for a Moment
The dangers of distracted driving are real and prominent, no matter how briefly the distraction occures. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gives the following example: If you are driving at 55 miles per hour while distracted for just five seconds – about the time it takes to send a text message – you are essentially driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed. Furthermore, in 2015, the NHTSA reported over 3,400 deaths from vehicle accidents involving a distracted driver. This number accounts for almost 10% of the total number of motor vehicle deaths that year.
What Prevention Is There for Distracted Driving?
Many states have taken a stance on distracted driving by enacting laws, such as banning handheld cellphone use or texting while driving. In 2015, NHTSA created the ongoing “U Drive. U Text. U Pay.” campaign to raise awareness of the dangers involving distracted driving. Stopping distracted driving depends on everyone’s participation, so public awareness campaigns are crucial.
There are also personal measures you can take to prevent these dangers. Take an individual pledge against distracted driving. With this, you are committing to driving distraction-free, which sets a good example for the people you know as well. Encourage others to do the same, for both their safety and the safety of others. You can also become involved with organizations to help spread the word, which is easily one of the best preventative measures.
I Was Hurt by a Distracted Driver – Now What?
After being hit by a distracted driver, make sure to take down each party’s information, including their contact information, license plates of all vehicles involved, contact information of any witnesses, and each party’s insurance information. If you were seriously injured or the damage to your vehicle was extensive, contact our Denver personal injury attorneys at Bovo Law, LLC. With recent case results totaling well over two million dollars, you can have confidence in our team and know that we are prepared to help you seek compensation for injuries resulting from a distracted driving accident.
Our experience in distracted driving cases makes us the preferred for people all across Denver. Request your initial consultation now.