Serious injuries and death: The realities of distracted driving
Motorists must follow all laws when they drive. They can’t be distracted while they are behind the wheel. Despite this given, many people do drive without paying their full attention to this duty. These individuals put themselves everyone around them in danger.
The problem of distracted driving isn’t new, but it is very serious. On an average day in this country, there are more than 1,000 people injured and around nine killed due to crashes that involve distractions. This problem has to stop. To make this happen, every driver must use safe practices while operating their vehicles.
Age is a risk factor
Young people, which includes those under 20 years old, are the most at risk of having fatal distracted driving crashes. Many states, including Georgia, have addressed this problem by instituting a graduated driver’s license system that doesn’t give new drivers full abilities until they’ve met specific benchmarks.
One reason why young people are at an increased risk of fatal distracted driving crashes is because they are more likely to text and drive. They are also less likely to wear a seat belt, which can increase the likelihood of the crash being fatal.
Types of distractions
Any activity that takes your focus away from driving is a distraction. This can impact your cognitive, manual or visual abilities. Some distractions fall under more than one of those three. Eating, putting on makeup, reading a map, changing the radio station and looking at billboards are a few examples of things that can distract drivers.
Cellphone usage by drivers is a particularly dangerous activity. This is because it takes your mind off driving while your brain processes what is being said in a voice call or text. It also requires you to use your hands, which means they aren’t on the steering wheel. Finally, you have to look at your phone, so your eyes aren’t on the road.
Length of distraction
The length of time you are distracted doesn’t have to be long. On average, reading a text message will take about five seconds. This might not seem like a long time, but it is when you are driving. In that five-second period, your vehicle will move approximately the length of a football field if you are going 55 miles per hour.
Victims of these crashes who survive might have serious injuries. Medical care, missed work and other financial blows from the crash may negatively impact their standard of living. These individuals might choose to seek compensation for those damages, as well as others that apply.