Three Main Types of Distracted Driving

Oct. 31st, 2014   /  

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At the Law Offices of Aronberg, Aronberg & Green, we represent clients who have been injured in a wide range of incidents, many of which involve auto accidents caused by distracted drivers. In our technology-saturated world, more often than not the cause of the distraction is a mobile device of one type or another.

One of the main problems with distracted driving is the concept in general. For instance, most people agree that it’s bad to, say, compose a text message while driving, but many people think that they’ll do it in a safe way and so it won’t distract them. That belief, time and time again, has been proven wrong. With 18% of all fatal accidents in the U.S. involving cell phone use, it’s clear that the public must become more knowledgeable about the dangers of distracted driving if we are to reduce the number of injuries and deaths due to distracted driving.

According to the U.S. government, there are three main types of distraction when behind the wheel of a motor vehicle:

Manual
This one is perhaps the most basic. When you are busy completing a task, whether it’s opening a text message on your cell phone or composing a message on your smartphone, etc., your hands are not where they should be. Instead of both of your hands being on the wheel and in full control of the potentially dangerous motor vehicle you’re driving, they are busy typing away on a mobile device.
Let’s say you’re driving down the highway and suddenly, you notice an object in the road, perhaps one that fell off the back of a commercial truck. With both hands on the wheel, you’d have been able to swerve out of the way and merge into another lane, avoiding the impact with the object and thus perhaps avoiding a pile-up accident. However, with your hands out of commission writing a text message or doing something else, you’d be unable to move out of the way in time.

Visual
This is another straightforward form of distraction. If you’re reading an e-mail, or a text message, or reading a text on a website – yes, people visit websites and browse the internet while they drive – your eyes are not on the road, where they should be when you’re behind the wheel. How can you possibly see if there’s immediate danger ahead if you’re not looking ahead of and/or around you? If your eyes are focused down on a cell phone, they are putting you (and everyone else with whom you share the road) in a position of serious danger.

Cognitive
This form of distraction involves taking your mind off driving. Aside from the physical distractions that necessarily prevent you from being a safe driver, the fact that your mind is elsewhere (i.e. on the composition of a text message, on how to interpret a message you’ve received, etc.) means that it’s not focusing on driving, leaving you incredibly vulnerable to an auto accident caused by your distracted driving.

You might think that texting while driving isn’t that prevalent, but the fact is that since 2010, at any given daylight moment across America, roughly 660,000 people are using an electronic mobile device while driving – that’s significantly more than half a million people texting (or doing something similar) while driving.

Cutting down on the degree to which we are distracted while we drive will increase the likelihood that we arrive at our destinations safely. If you have any questions about this important issue, or if you’ve been injured in an auto accident that you believe was caused by a distracted driver, please contact our personal injury attorneys to schedule a free consultation by calling 561-266-9191 or by e-mailing us at daronberg@aronberglaw.com. We look forward to assisting you.

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