These days, people can’t seem to take their hands off their smartphones. In line at the grocery store, at dinner with friends, and even behind the wheel when it is most dangerous to do so, people are at the mercy of that next notification. While it’s relatively easy to become addicted to constant communication, it’s even more dangerous to drive with a smartphone nearby. An increasing number of devastating car accidents are being caused by drivers who text, browse the web, play games, take pictures, check social media or Snapchat and drive.
Smartphones are just the latest culprit responsible for a significant portion of car crashes each year. In 2015, distracted driving attributed to 10% of all fatal crashes (over 3,700 fatalities). There are many ways to become distracted behind the wheel. Understanding how distractions impact road safety is key to minimizing the potential for these distractions to occur.
Defining Distracted Driving in Arizona
Distracted driving is pretty self-explanatory. Basically, any activity that takes a driver’s attention away from driving qualifies as a distraction. These days, texting and driving is particularly prevalent in distracted driving accidents, and it’s among the most dangerous activities one can perform behind the wheel. Other examples of distracted driving are:
- Making a phone call
- Adjusting the stereo or MP3 player
- Chatting with passengers
- Keeping a pet under control
- Reading a map
Three Types of Distracted Driving
Three types of distractions can deter attention from driving: manual, visual, and cognitive. Manual distractions are those that physically take a person’s hands away from the steering wheel (texting and eating). Visual distractions take a person’s eyes off the road (looking at the scenery or a passenger). Cognitive distractions take a person’s mind off the task of driving (thinking about the day ahead).
How Does Distracted Driving Make Roads More Dangerous?
When drivers are not aware of what is happening around them, they cannot make decisions to reduce the risk of an accident. Drivers who do not see a person crossing the street or that another driver at the upcoming intersection ran through a red light cannot react in time to avoid a potentially deadly crash. When your eyes are not on the road, you also fail to notice poor road conditions like slippery roads or potholes that can cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
Whether you are driving 10 miles per hour in a school zone or 50 miles per hour on the freeway, choosing to distract yourself with a cell phone or other object while you are driving is a dangerous decision that can carry serious repercussions. In many instances, seemingly innocent actions, such as sending or reading a quick text can end a life.
If you were hurt because of a distracted driver in Tucson, you might be entitled to compensation. Karnas Law Firm, LLC has over 25 years of experience advocating for car accident victims who suffer physical and emotional harm through no fault of their own. Our attorneys can investigate the events surrounding your accident, so you have the best chance of receiving a fair settlement. Call (520) 571-9700 to explore your legal options or contact us online for a free case review.