Consequences of Distracted Driving
Distracted Driving Accidents
An average of six million car accidents happen every year in the United States of America. An average of 400-500 thousand of these accidents are reported to be due to drivers being distracted and not focusing on responsible driving. Most people feel invincible when driving until something happens to them. They figure they can be on the phone, look out the window, or do their makeup and nothing could ever happen. But statistics show that there is high risk of not keeping your eyes on the road and hands on the wheel and serious consequences follow.
Causes of Distracted Driving and the Myth of Multitasking
There are a lot of different types of stimuli that drivers are constantly experiencing on the road. Music, technology, the road, other drivers, scenery, signs, personal emotions, physical comfort, thoughts, other passengers, and more are all constantly being experienced by the driver. Because of this, it is easy to be distracted. Many people also feel, in a sense, invincible on the road. Many people will feel like it could never happen to them. People also often overestimate their driving ability and multitasking ability.
The truth is multitasking is a myth. You are not consciously able to perform two tasks at once literally. You can breath, blink, walk, and do other physiological things at the same time, but tasks that involved concentration cannot be done at the same time. The reality is, your brain is technically just rapidly jumping between the tasks within fractions of a second. Although that sounds pretty much “at the same time,” it is not, and those fractions of a second are crucial on the road. A person’s reaction time is on average only .2 of a second. The faster you notice another driver running a red light, for instance, the better chance you have of getting out of the way before a collision. Every millisecond counts.
The Three Distracted Driving Categories
Whatever distracted a driver, it usually falls under one of three categories:
- Cognitive Distraction
What category it falls under depends highly on the type of stimulus and what part of the body is being distracted away from operating the vehicle. Manual distraction involves moving hands away from the wheel or stick, feet away from gas or break, or adjusting the body a different way. Visual distractions involve any stimulus that causes someone to move their eyes off the road. Cognitive distractions involve anything that results in mental focus being taken away from the task of driving. This could include a chatty passenger, getting lost in thought, rage at another driver, staring into space, etc.
The Seriousness of Texting and Driving
One of the biggest distractors on the road fall under all three categories at once: smartphones. In fact 25% of all accidents are due to cell phones. When you choose to read and text instead of drive, you are moving your hands off the wheel, yours eyes off the road, and your mind is now focusing on the conversation instead of your driving. At any moment, around 700,000 people have their eyes on their phones instead of the road. A car can travel an entire football field in just 5 seconds at just under 60 mph. A lot of things can happen in that time.
The consequences of distracted driving are devastating. Almost 400,000 people are injured every year just from texting and driving, and these numbers keep climbing when considering other types of distractions. Almost 4,000 people a year die from distracted driving accidents. Concentrating on the road is crucial for your safety and anyone else on the road.
Contact an Atlantic City Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Car Accident Case in New Jersey
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a car accident in New Jersey? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Brown Law represent clients injured because of driving accidents in Galloway Township, Hamilton, Pleasantville, Hammonton, and throughout New Jersey. Call (609) 344-8270 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 3123 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 201, Atlantic City, NJ 08041.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.