Car accidents are so common that every single day there are thousands of accidents all over the country. Yearly, millions of people are injured and at least a million lose their lives. These numbers are so huge that you have to wonder if there is anything all drivers should do or stop doing in order to reverse this tragic trend. Plenty of people do not wear a seatbelt while driving. Is that the main cause of most car accidents or is it something else?
The Main Cause of Car Accidents
The number one reason why there are so many car accidents every day is simply distracted driving. It’s not surprising that new technologies are to blame for this statistic. Driving while using the phone to text or scroll down to look at other information is so common that everyone knows or has seen someone that does this. Or maybe you even do this yourself.
Distracted driving not only injures and kills thousands of people a day but also harms pedestrians and bicyclists as well as many innocent passengers in vehicles.
What other behaviors are considered distracted driving?
Any action that diverts the attention of the driver from looking at the road and vehicles around them is considered distracted driving. That is why these actions also fall under the definition of distracted driving besides texting or talking on the phone:
- Eating and drinking
- Fiddling with your stereo equipment or other entertainment systems
- Trying to find an address in your GPS or navigation system
- Talking to other people in your vehicle
- Driving while tired
- Applying makeup while behind the wheel
- Grooming yourself in the mirror
In short, anything that is a non-driving activity and takes your attention away from what you should be doing while driving is considered distracted driving.
What is the worst culprit of distracted driving?
Out of all the actions listed above, texting while driving is the single reason for most distracted driving accidents. This is so simply because sending an email or text while driving not only draws your eyes away from the road, it also keeps your hands and mind from doing what they should be doing while you drive.
It has been estimated that using your phone while driving reduces the amount of brain activity that should be focused on what you are doing and where you are going by 37%. Also, even when you opt for hands-free use of the phone, you should know that hands-free is not equivalent to risk-free. A phone in your hand while driving keeps you from taking in up to 50% of the information around you that you need to be aware of when sitting behind the wheel of a moving vehicle.
Are there specific actions you could take to avoid distracted driving?
To begin with, always pay attention to the road and to your surroundings. Also, commit to not texting, talking on the phone, or playing games while driving. Put your phone away or give it to your passenger and ask them to manage it for you. Also, prepare your car before setting off. Program your navigation system, select your music, make any needed calls.
And if you have been injured due to someone engaging in distracted driving, obtain a car accident lawyers’ advice on the best action to take.