We have more reason than ever to be distracted, don’t we? Between the pandemic, the news, our vehicle navigation technology, our cell phones and a completely unpredictable environment, it can feel like a constant struggle to stay focused. While driving, we switch to auto-pilot, and distractions creep in.
At Monsour Law Firm, a big part of what we do is helping car accident victims pursue compensation so they can pay their medical bills and get their life back on track. We’re passionate about what we do, but we’d also like to help prevent those accidents from happening in the first place. We put together this article on the state of distracted driving in 2021 hoping it will encourage readers to keep their attention on the road and avoid deadly consequences.
What is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving is just what it sounds like. Anything less than focused attention on driving tasks when you’re behind the wheel falls under the heading of distracted driving. When you break up an argument between kids in the back seat and you spend more time looking in your rearview than at the road, that’s distracted driving. When you send a text message (even using voice to text features) while you’re going down the road, you’re distracted. Scrolling through any sort of feed is dividing your attention and practicing unsafe behavior.
Driving distracted could involve your eyes, your hands, your brain or a combination of the above. If you take your eyes off the road or your hands off the wheel, you’re physically distracted. Often what you’re doing with your eyes or hands also sends your brain on a different path, so your thoughts are also on something other than maintaining control of your vehicle.
Emotions can also hijack your attention. If you’re excited, anxious, angry or heartbroken, you can’t give all of your mental energy to driving. You might think it’s not a big deal, but what happens when the vehicle in front of you comes to a sudden stop or a kid darts into the road in pursuit of a soccer ball?
How Dangerous is Distracted Driving in 2021?
Here are a few statistics you might not know about distracted driving.
- Taking your eyes off the road for just two seconds makes it more than twice as likely you’ll be involved in a crash – AAA
- In the most recent data, 14 percent of all reported crashes were caused by distracted driving – NHTSA
- 39 percent of Americans say they have shopped on their cell phones while driving – Root Insurance
- 87 percent of rear end collisions happen because distracted driving was involved - NHTSA
- Every day, nine Americans die because of distracted driving – DMV
- Between 2010 and 2018, an average of 3,000 people a year died because of distracted driving - CDC
Protecting Yourself and Your Loved Ones
You can make it impossible to text, scroll or email when driving by putting your phone where you can’t reach it before you start your vehicle. Choose not to drive if you’re tired or upset. Teach children of the dangers of distracting the driver and offer consistent reminders. Keep your music turned down so you can hear other vehicles. If you find your attention wandering, consistently bring it back to the road, your vehicle and your surroundings.
Did Distracted Driving Cause Your Personal Injury?
If you were involved in an accident because someone else was driving distracted, we can help with your car accident claim. Schedule a complimentary consultation today.