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Why driver distraction is becoming a crisis on our roads

Convenience is a high priority for everyone as we all try to fit ever more into each day. Often jobs require that more than one task be completed at the same time to maximize productivity. When this multi-tasking mindset extends to time behind the wheel it increases the number of accidents on our roads.

While cell phones take most of the blame for distracting drivers, texting or playing Pokemon Go! are not the only activities that take a driver’s attention away from the task at hand. In a 2015, insurance company survey, drivers admitted to activities from trying to read a book to changing clothes while driving.

It is largely because of this that in 2014 more than 430,000 people suffered injuries in crashes when a driver was distracted. The number killed in these needless crashes topped 3000 across the country. These numbers are only increasing.

Why multi-tasking causes problems behind the wheel

People who consider themselves very busy sometimes joke about “cloning themselves” in order to have more of themselves to get everything done. As this is still impossible, many believe multi-tasking is the next best thing. While completing more than one activity at a time, physical and mental energy is not multiplied, it’s divided. This creates more opportunities for a crash.

Driving can start to feel second nature. It is easy to forget that a motor vehicle is a powerful machine capable of maiming or killing another person. So drivers must give the road their undivided attention.

Avoiding distractions and issues of causation

Driving distractions have always existed, and many are hard to avoid completely. Three main types of distractions involve:

  • Mental distraction that take a driver’s mind off driving
  • Manual things like operating a gps that take hands off the wheel
  • Visual distractions – looking down to read a text – that take eyes off the road

For example, parents frequently are driving with kids in the back seat. Looking back to attend to a child in a car seat can easily take eyes off the road long enough to miss that traffic has stopped.

Hands-free devices are not a complete answer, either. Operating them still causes distraction. The best course of action is place a phone or other mobile device out of your reach. Others on the road do not always do this. If you have been injured in a car crash, finding out the cause is a general priority. When another driver was negligent in some way legal remedies exist to hold that person accountable.

If you are injured in a car or truck accident involving a distracted driver, it is important to seek medical attention right away. Then contact the personal injury attorneys at Rush & Gransee, L.C. at 210-807-8165 to schedule a free initial consultation.