An auto accident attorney has the opportunity to observe tragedy on the roads. One of the increasingly prevalent – and alarming conditions on the roadways today is distracted driving. Distracted driving injures and kills hundreds of people each and every year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving killed 3,477 lives in 2015 alone. Almost 400,000 people sustained injuries during the same time frame, by motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers.
Federal estimates suggest 16 percent of all fatal crashes involve some sort of distracted driving. Examples of distracted driving include eating while driving, arguing with passengers, changing the radio station or relying on navigational gear. Texting and reading email are also major contributors to distracted driving practices. However, using hands free voice commands to make call contacts, dialing phone numbers, changing the music in the car, and sending texts with smart phone assistance, are also distracting activities.
An Auto Accident Attorney Explains Distracted Driving Latency
Distracted driving latency is a newly observed phenomenon. The University of Utah paired up with the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety to study distracted driving. What they found may surprise you. Studies have shown that one isn’t just distracted while engaging in activity such as texting. There is also a latent period, following the activity, wherein the driver is not fully engaged for 27 seconds. Consider what this might mean.
- When driving 25 miles per hour, you travel 989 feet in 27 seconds;
- Increase your speed to 60 miles per hour, and you travel 2,376 feet in 27 seconds;
- At 80 miles per hour, you travel 3,168 feet in 27 seconds.
Put another way, your distracted driving extends roughly the length of two city blocks, almost half a mile, or more than ten football fields after you stop texting, emailing, or otherwise focusing your attention on something other than driving.
An Auto Accident Attorney Suggests Ways to Avoid Distracted Driving
You can learn and benefit from, the mistakes of others. Having represented hundreds of injured people, an auto accident attorney offers the following suggestions to help avoid distracted driving:
- Decide on your route, employ your GPS, fix your mirrors, temperature, and radio volume before you start driving;
- Secure loose possessions, including your purse and your phone, preventing them from rolling around the seat or floor of the car;
- Eat before or after your trip, not while you are driving;
- Power down your phone before you begin driving to avoid any possible temptation to call or answer a call, read or send a text, or check your email;
- If your child or pet needs attention, pull over to the side of the road – do not attempt to reach into the back seat to offer assistance while driving;
- Remember that when you are driving, safety is your number one priority. Scan the roadway for pedestrians, bicyclists, or other distractions. Keep your focus on your driving. Your life – and the lives of your passengers, as well as others around you, depends on it.
Injured by a Distracted Driver?
If you have been injured by a distracted driver, or a loved one has been killed due to someone else’s distracted driving, you may have a claim. This is true even if the distracted driver was a family member. Don’t try to deal with your injury alone. Let the experienced auto accident attorneys at Fetterman & Associates take the burden of handling the insurance company, while you focus on recovery. There is no fee unless we win your case. Contact us today at 561-845-2510.