We all know that distracted driving is a problem, and that smart phones and other electronic devices only make it worse. But what about other types of distraction, such as eating and daydreaming? According to a recent report, nearly 3,500 people die annually in distraction-related auto accidents, and another 400,000 are seriously injured. Although many of these accidents involve a hand-held electronic device, some do not. What other forms of distraction are taking lives on U.S. roadways each year? Read on to find out.
Types of Distraction
When it comes to driving in Boston, there are three types of distractions. These are visual, manual, and cognitive. Visual distractions take your eyes off the road. manual distractions take your hands off the wheel, and cognitive distractions take your mind off driving. Texting and using social media are so dangerous because they involve all three. A Boston motor vehicle accident attorney can help you recover damages if you’ve been injured due to another’s negligence.
Top 10 Causes of Distracted Driving Accidents
- Daydreaming: If you are mentally focused on something other than the road, your risk of a crash increases dramatically. For this reason, it is important to avoid getting behind the wheel if you are not in a state of mind to focus on the road. If a serious life event is causing you distress, you may want to take a break from driving until you feel better.
- Talking, texting, and using social media: Basically, this refers to any use of an electronic device. Although hand-held devices are most distracting, even hands-free devices can take your mind and vision from the road. If you have to make or receive a call or text, pull over in a safe location before doing so. To resist the temptation to glance at a text, put your smart phone on drive mode before you hit the road.
- Rubber-necking: Allowing yourself to be distracted by accidents, police stops, construction sites, or nearby drivers can be deadly.
- Passengers: Interacting with passengers causes about five percent of annual distracted driving-related accidents. This is especially true when young children are involved. To reduce the risk of this type of accident, make sure that children are safely buckled, do not turn around while driving, avoid reaching in the backseat to give them a toy, and do not allow them to eat while you are driving.
- Adjusting vehicle controls: You can become manually, visually and cognitively distracted when you change the radio station, adjust the vehicle’s temperature, put on or take off your seat belt, and adjust your mirrors.
- Eating and drinking: Consuming food and drinks contributes to two percent of distracted driving-related accidents each year. A MA auto accident attorney can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve been injured by a distracted driver.
- Reaching: When we take our eyes off the road to reach for a map, food, an electronic device or a child’s toy, we can become dangerously distracted.
- Smoking: Lighting, smoking, putting out and accidentally dropping a cigarette are all forms of distraction.