As we end Distracted Driving Awareness Month we wanted to take a look at the most common causes of driver distraction besides cell phones.
Without question, introduction of the smartphone in the last decade has been the biggest factor when it comes to the increased risk of distracted drivers on the road. Today’s drivers not only use their phones to talk and text, but also for navigation, music, and social media. Each of these activities involves all three types of distraction – visual, cognitive and manual – making them among the most dangerous distractive behaviors engaged in by drivers.
But similar concerns met introduction of the AM radio into automobiles, as well as introduction of the 8-track tape deck as a standard option in the 1960s. When it comes to driver distraction, our car accident lawyers in Fort Myers and Cape Coral know it’s a safety mindset that will best protect you from being involved in a collision.
Distracted Driving Collisions in Southwest Florida
By many estimates, distraction is a cause of more than one-third of all serious and fatal traffic collisions. Florida joins California and New York as the three deadliest states in the nation for traffic accidents, and the large number of visitors and seasonal residents only serve to increase those risks. Teens are at particularly high risk of distraction while driving — both by electronic devices and by other young passengers in the vehicle. Parents are encouraged to talk to their young drivers about the dangers of distraction and should consider having their teen take the Just Drive pledge.
By pledging not to drive distracted you are more likely to put the phone down and to avoid many of the other common causes of distracted driving.
- Passengers: Each passenger (including pets) has the potential to distract a driver. This is particularly true of younger drivers and younger passengers.
- External distractions: From road construction, to the aftermath of traffic collisions, to roadside attractions, taking your eyes off the road to focus on what is going on externally will always increase collision risks, particularly if other motorists are similarly distracted.
- Eating and drinking: Like cell phone use, eating or drinking involves all three types of distraction — yes off the road, mind off driving, at least one hand off the wheel — and there for exponentially increases collision risks.
- Navigating: Unless you have someone to navigate, pulling off the road to consult maps or apps is the safest bet. Southwest Florida’s large number of visitors make this a particularly important safety issue.
Safety advocates believe the true number of serious and fatal traffic collisions caused by driver distraction is far higher than official estimates. Early consultation with an experienced car accident lawyer in Fort Myers or Cape Coral can help determine all of the causes of your collision and identify all of the parties responsible for paying damages. Victims should not have to shoulder the financial burden caused by a careless or distracted motorist.
If you or a loved one is injured, call Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, at 1-800-646-1210.