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Posted On December 27, 2011 Personal Injury

Dangers of Distracted Driving

With new advances in technology all the time it is hard to remove yourself from the distractions. When one refers to distracted driving it means more than just using your phone. In just a short car trip some will text their friends, change the song on their MP3 player several times, and adjust their destination on their GPS. It seems impossible for some to resist the urge to do other things while driving.

Anything that distracts the driver from the road is putting their life, the lives of their passengers, and the lives of others on the road in danger. It is reckless and negligent to focus on another activity while driving.

What is distracted driving?

Distracted driving is any activity that takes the driver’s attention away from the road, such as:

  • Texting.
  • Talking on a phone, regardless if it’s hands-free.
  • Using applications and other phone utilities.
  • Talking to others in the vehicle.
  • Fixing your hair or make-up.
  • Reading.
  • Looking at maps or GPS.
  • Watching videos.
  • Playing with the radio, CD player, or MP3 player.
  • Eating.

So much emphasis is put on texting as being the most dangerous distraction because it not only requires you to look at the phone, but it also requires thought and manual attention. The fact of the matter is that all of these activities can interfere with your primary function of being in the car in the first place—getting to your destination safely.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that in 2009, 5,474 people were killed and 448,000 were injured in an accident involving distracted driving. Of the people killed, 18 percent were distracted driving accidents involving a cell phone. They also reported that 16 percent of all fatal crashes with drivers younger than 20 involved distracted driving.

Monash University reported that drivers who use hand-held devices are 4 times more likely to be involved in a car accident. The Department of Transportation also reported that on average a driver’s attention is away from the road for 4.6 seconds when sending or receiving a text message—traveling at 55-mph would mean they drove the length of a football field without looking.

Although there is a belief that distracted driving accidents are only caused by teenagers, but that is not true. On the contrary, in 2009 the age group with the highest amount of drivers involved in fatal, distracted driving accidents was between 20 and 29 years of age followed by the 30 to 39 age group. The problem of distracted driving extends far beyond teenagers.

When operating a vehicle your main focus should be on safely getting to your destination and obeying the rules of the road and not on your phone or other distractions. If are distracted you are putting yourself and others in serious danger. You may think that you can safely look away from the road for a few seconds to answer a text message, but it only takes seconds for a threat to arise.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a motor vehicle accident caused by a distracted driver you need a New Jersey car accident lawyer to help you get the compensation you deserve. The distracted driver should be held accountable for their actions. Call today to set up your free consultation by calling, toll-free (866) 788-5500.