Distracted driving is among the leading causes of accidents on American roads. In 2021, it claimed 3,522 lives. So, what constitutes a distraction?
Any activity that diverts attention away from driving can be considered a distraction. These include:
Using a phone
A driver talking on the phone or texting may be distracted, as their attention is not on driving. Besides, one may take their eyes off the road to read or type a text message or email.
Drivers who use their smartphones for navigation purposes can also be distracted.
Changing audio and climate controls
Many people prefer driving when listening to music or podcasts. However, a driver may take their eyes off the road and hand off the wheel to change music or control volume.
Additionally, while some cars have climate control systems that can automatically keep a car’s interior to a specific temperature, others have air conditioning that requires a driver to set the temperature and adjust the fan manually. A driver with the latter system can be easily distracted.
Eating and drinking
Eating and drinking while driving is a common way of saving time for drivers. But it’s dangerous. A driver may need to take their hand(s) off the road to eat or open a package, or they may take their eyes off the road to pick up dropped food or wipe away crumbs.
Greasy foods can make the steering wheel slippery. In turn, it may be challenging for a driver to respond quickly, for example, make a quick turn if need be.
Further, drinking from a large cup/mug can block a driver’s visibility.
Talking to people in the vehicle
A driver who engages in a conversation with passengers or interacts with children in the back seat may not be focused on driving. These activities demand attention.
If you are injured by a distracted driver, you should learn more about your options to protect your rights.