When most people think of distracted driving, they think of people using
cell phones or texting while driving. However, there are many activities
that people don't think twice about doing in the car that can be distracting.
Distracted driving is anything that takes a driver's attention away
from the road. These distractions can include eating, talking to passengers,
electronic device use and even grooming. In 2012, 421,000 people were
injured in distracted driving accidents.
Eating in the car
Drivers who eat behind the wheel are seriously limiting their ability to
respond to an accident. Just reaching for an object while driving makes
a driver 8 times more likely to crash, while eating makes drivers 3 times
more likely to crash.
Talking to Passengers
The most distracting passengers are often children and pets. In a recent
study conducted by AAA, it was found that dealing with children in a vehicle
was 12 times more distracting than talking on a cell phone.
It is estimated that 10% of distracted driving accidents are related to
passenger distractions. Drivers need to be aware of how distracting other
people can be in the vehicle and remember to keep their eyes on the road.
Electronic Device Use
Cell phones are the biggest contributors when it comes to distracted driving
accidents. In a study done by Autobytel, 1 in 3 people who had been in
an accident reported the cause was related to an electronic device
Electronic navigation systems are a cause of many distracted driving accidents.
Users who are attempting to program their GPS while driving stand the
same chance of getting into an accident as those who text and drive.
It might only take a few seconds to brush your hair or put on lipstick,
but it takes even less time to get into an accident. In a recent survey,
1 in 5 adults admitted to having done some type of grooming while behind
the wheel, whether that was brushing their hair, putting on lipstick or
Drivers who take their eyes off the road for only a few seconds while doing
55 miles an hours travel a distance equivalent to the length of a football
field blindfolded. When it comes to driving, there is no acceptable amount
of time for drivers to take their eyes off the road.
In 2012, 3,328 people were killed in distracted driving accidents. The
number might actually be much higher, as most drivers won't report
that a distraction caused the accident. In some studies, it has been estimated
that 80% of all traffic accidents are related to some kind of distraction.
In 2012, there were 2,255 fatal crashes in Florida, and distracted driving
was a contributing factor in many of them. People who are injured by distracted
drivers may be entitled to seek compensation and certainly should understand
their legal options.
The only thing a driver should be doing behind the wheel is driving. Every
driver on the road has a responsibility to keep his or her attention on
the road. Distracted driving causes senseless accidents that could easily
be prevented with a little bit of common sense. Distracted drivers who
cause accidents should be held accountable.