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Bagen Law Blog

A Look at Distracted Driving and You

Posted by Steven A. Bagen

Jan 9, 2013 2:19:00 PM

Distracted driving is a very serious problem in today’s world, both for area residents and commercial drivers. The increasing incidence of accidents and fatalities related to distracted driving should be enough to frighten anyone.

Distracted driving is often thought of as something that only young drivers are prone to, but that’s incorrect. While teens are more likely to be distracted while behind the wheel, a significant number of adults are also guilty of this. Even commercial drivers can be distracted behind the wheel. What should you know about this frightening trend?

Increasing Number of Incidents

Most drivers think of distracted driving as something prevalent with younger drivers and not particularly prevalent outside areas where teens might be behind the wheel. However, that’s the wrong assumption to make. According to a recent government study, there were nearly 40,000 auto accident fatalities in recent years, and a significant percentage of those were attributable to distracted driving. In fact, studies show that up to 78% of auto accidents are caused by distraction and a general lack of attention behind the wheel. Obviously, considering the number of crashes and the involvement of adults across society, teens are not the only ones guilty of this.

Put Down the Phone

Perhaps the number one source of distraction while behind the wheel is the humble cell phone. While chances are good that you’re familiar with the enormous problem of texting while driving, there are other distractions involving cell phones as well. These include attempting to dial the phone, using apps while behind the wheel and reading content on the phone’s screen. Your best defense here is to simply put the phone down and leave it alone while you’re behind the wheel, or to invest in a hands-free system so that you can keep your hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.

Eating and Drinking

Another huge threat in terms of distraction is the act of eating or drinking behind the wheel. We’ve all done it at one point or another – reaching down to grasp that 32-ounce soda or trying to down a sandwich while on the way to a meeting. Eating and drinking behind the wheel are common occurrences, but can be just as distracting as texting behind the wheel. There’s also enormous potential for further distraction here. For instance, spilling your drink will certainly cause you to take your eyes off the road.

Distracted driving is an epidemic – don’t do it.

Topics: Car Accidents