Both safety organizations and police departments have invested in public awareness campaigns about distracted driving. Their focus is almost always the use of mobile phones or other kinds of digital technology while driving.
While it’s certainly wise to make sure that people know that texting while driving isn’t safe, the focus on digital technology in distracted driving awareness campaigns may give people a false sense of security. They may believe that putting their phone down while they drive is all it takes to eliminate distractions while they’re behind the wheel.
The truth is very different.
Many common behaviors are part of distracted driving
Driving distraction comes in multiple forms, but all distractions share at least one of three characteristics:
- They divert your gaze from the road (visual distractions)
- They cause you to take your hands off the wheel (manual distractions)
- They shift your focus away from driving (cognitive distractions)
Cellular phone use tends to combine all three forms of distraction, which is what makes them so particularly dangerous, but there are a number of things that people commonly do while driving that are also distracting. Eating a quick lunch on your way to your next appointment can be just as distracting as answering your phone. Grooming yourself, switching radio stations or even reaching for something in the back seat while the vehicle is in motion can all be forms of distraction that increase the risk of a crash.
Seek help if you’re injured by a distracted driver
When a driver lets themselves become distracted, accidents happen and people get hurt. If you were injured in a car crash caused by a distracted driver, you have every right to seek compensation for your losses. An experienced advocate can protect your interests and make sure the claims process stays fair.