4 Driver distractions that have nothing to do with cell phones
With all the media attention given to texting and driving, it is easy to dismiss other forms of distractions in the vehicle as insignificant. However, any activity that takes the eyes, hands or attention away from the task of driving is considered a distraction and can be potentially deadly. Driver distractions that pull attention from the road for two seconds double the risk of a crash.
Most distracted behaviors involve visual, manual and cognitive distraction
In a study conducted by the American Automobile Association, nearly all drivers admit to manipulating vehicle controls, the radio or another form of entertainment such as an mp3 or CD player while behind the wheel. These activities take the hands and the attention off the road, and typically require visual attention as well, constituting a significant hazard.
While talking on a hand held cell phone is against the law in many states, having the same discussion with a passenger is just as dangerous according to a study on cognitive distraction by the Foundation for Traffic Safety. Researchers found that both conversations are category-2 distractions, and the difference between them is negligible. When children require attention in the vehicle, a driver should always pull over before addressing the issue.
One of every two drivers confesses to eating or drinking behind the wheel. Even when the driver’s eyes do not leave the road, the hands and attention are not fully engaged. In the case of a spill, a driver may suddenly have all attention pulled from the road while attempting to deal with the consequences, creating a significant and unexpected hazard.
External stimuli also frequently cause drivers take visual and mental attention from the road. Scenery, road signs or car accidents are a few common distractions outside a vehicle that pull a driver’s eyes away from the immediate surroundings.
Distraction awareness can reduce car accidents
In 2014, there were 898 fatalities caused by motor vehicle crashes in Illinois alone. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, one in ten fatal crashes is the result of a distraction. Federal and state policies have had some impact on the number of accidents occurring due to the use of hand held devices. Awareness is needed about the dangers of all driver distractions to reduce injuries and fatalities on the roadways.
The victim of a car crash in Illinois caused by distracted driving often has extensive property damage, medical bills and even permanent disabilities. A personal injury lawyer in Chicago can provide advice on the best way to proceed for receiving maximum compensation.
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