6 Dangerous Distractions when Driving
Distracted driving is a grave danger on Virginia’s roads. According to the Centers for Disease Control, at least 9 people die in a distracted driving accident every day, and another 1,000 are injured. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that almost 80% of all crashes are caused by distracted driving. Operating a vehicle safely requires a motorist’s undivided attention, and anything that distracts them could lead to a collision.
If you were hurt in a distracted driving accident, call us. An auto accident lawyer in Virginia Beach can review your case and determine whether you can make a claim.
There is no question that cell phone use is a major distraction when driving. Sending or reading a text takes someone’s full attention. They also need to hold the phone, which removes at least one hand from the wheel.
Research has shown that a car going 60 miles an hour will travel the full length of a football field in only a few seconds. In that time, a motorist will never see pedestrians crossing the street or other vehicles entering their lane.
Even using a cell phone at a stop light is a problem. As reported by the National Safety Council, people cannot easily “switch off” the part of the brain that used the phone. Instead, drivers can remain distracted for up to 27 seconds after completing a call.
Eating & Drinking
Too many people try to combine driving with eating a meal, but eating can impair a person’s ability to drive in different ways:
- To eat, a person typically has to remove one or both hands from the steering wheel, which impedes their ability to take defensive action quickly.
- A person can spill something on themselves, which will distract them as they try to clean it up.
- Hot foods or liquids can burn a person, causing them to lose their focus.
If you need to eat, consume everything before getting into the vehicle. Most people can eat a meal in under 10 minutes, so you will not be delayed that long.
If you are traveling with a pet, remember to restrain them. A person can easily become distracted when a dog makes a surprise lunge to the front seat or a cat jumps onto their lap. Smaller pets can travel in crates or cardboard boxes, and owners should use special pet seat belts for larger dogs.
Applying makeup, rouge, or eyeliner while a vehicle is in motion is dangerous. Even brushing your hair can take your eyes off the road.
Some people try to apply makeup while idling at an intersection, but this is also dangerous for all the same reasons as typing a text message while idling is. You might not look both ways when the light turns green and end up striking a pedestrian in the crosswalk. Apply your makeup before leaving home or when you arrive at your destination.
A GPS device might sound like an excellent navigation tool. They can provide your precise location as well as directions for where you are going. But drivers who are looking at the device are not watching the road. Never let a GPS become a distraction. If you have a passenger, they can look at the device, otherwise you should pull over.
Other people in the vehicle can become a distraction, especially if the driver is arguing with them. Obviously, we do not recommend that people travel in complete silence. However, if you find yourself losing focus because of a conversation, pause it. Any argument could also lead to road rage, so be especially careful.
Were You Injured in a Distracted Driving Accident?
Bret Law PC has established itself as a prominent law firm in Virginia Beach. We have helped countless motorists injured in accidents, and we would be pleased to talk to you. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer in Virginia.