Editor’s note: This is the third in our four-part blog series about distracted driving.
Read the first part here or second part here.
Distracted driving puts not only those behind the wheel in danger, but also their passengers and others using the roadway. Recent studies show that drivers using hand-held devices are four times more likely to get into car accidents that are serious enough to injure themselves. The consequences of distracted driving can be tragic. Although texting while driving is one of the dangers most commonly discussed, there are a number of other distractions that are just as dangerous.
The Worst Types of Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is any activity that takes your eyes off the road, hands off the wheel or your mind off the primary task of driving. Here are some additional types of distracted driving:
- Smoking: Recent studies by insurance companies show that at least 1 percent of drivers involved in crashes cited smoking, lighting up a cigarette and putting ashes in the ash tray as distractions that led to the collision.
- Moving objects: Unrestrained items and pets in the vehicle can be extremely dangerous. When things move around, drivers sometimes react by looking or reaching for the object. Pets can become agitated or excited in the car and cause the driver to become distracted.
- Using other devices: Just about any activity that can take your eyes off the road, even for a second, can be dangerous. Adjusting rearview mirrors, seats or using a navigation system can also prove to be fatal distractions. About 2 percent of distracted drivers admitted that switching radio stations or adjusting the volume on the stereo or fiddling with temperature controls led to a fatal error.
- Eating or drinking: This is very dangerous because hands are holding food items instead of maintaining control of the vehicle and a driver may drop or spill something, which increases the risk of a crash.
- Distracting passengers: Devastating accidents also occur when a driver turns to talk to a passenger, taking his or her eyes off the road, even if it is for a couple of seconds. Children in the back seat can also prove to be very distracting for drivers.
- Outside distractions: Things outside the vehicle can also be distracting. Driving while looking at billboards, post-wreck cleanups, or some other incident that is occurring on the roadway, can be extremely dangerous and cause accidents.
- Grooming: Applying makeup, shaving or brushing your hair while driving are also extremely dangerous activities that can cause a crash. Doing so takes hands off the wheel, eyes off the road and attention on grooming instead of driving.
If You Have Been Injured
If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, experienced Rhode Island car accident lawyers at d’Oliveira & Associates can help you better understand your legal rights and options. You may be entitled to receive compensation for your medical bills, lost income and pain and suffering, among other losses. No fees are received unless you win your case. For a free (no obligation) case evaluation, call us toll free at 1-800-992-6878 or fill out our contact form online.