What Are the Biggest Distractions for Drivers?
The most frequent cause of a car accident is human error. Far and away, humans are the number one cause of car accidents and resulting injuries. As a car accident injury victim, it is incredibly frustrating to know that your injuries did not have to occur.
Human error that causes car accidents most often happens because a driver is distracted or trying to multi-task. This can often result in more serious injuries because a distracted driver is a driver who is not paying attention and is not able to react in time. This can result in higher speed collisions that cause more pain and suffering.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, it may have been caused by a distracted driver. Knowing what to look out for can give you clues about whether the at-fault driver was distracted, resulting in your accident and injuries.
Common Causes of Driver Distraction
Although drivers can be distracted by any number of things, what follows is a brief discussion of the most common driver distractions. As can be seen, many of these distractions are the fault of the driver who failed to keep their attention where it should be: on driving.
Texting. Texting while driving is against the law, but that does not stop drivers from grabbing their phone to send or reply to a text they receive. Taking your eyes off the road for even a few seconds can mean you drive several football fields, depending on your speed, without looking at the road. That is highly dangerous. Many drivers think that by only texting while sitting at a red light, they are being safe. Although that is safer, studies have shown that your brain stays focused on the conversation, not driving, for almost half a minute after you have put the phone down.
Daydreaming. Some drives and commutes are mind-numbing, resulting in motorists thinking about other things, including work, family relationships, arguments, and anything other than driving. When a driver is focused on their thoughts, they are not focused on driving, which can result in catastrophic accidents.
GPS. Today, most vehicles have GPS built into them and, even if they do not, we all have phones capable of giving us directions. But sometimes, drivers are too focused on looking at the map instead of the actual road. If a driver gets distracted by changing their destination or trying to figure out where to turn, they take their mind and eyes off the road, which could result in an accident.
Music. Whether listening to the radio or music streaming from a phone, drivers are constantly fiddling with what they listen to while driving. This is another key distraction that takes both eyes and mind off the task of driving. When a driver looks down at their phone to change a song or reaches over to change the radio station, they are not looking at the road and could easily collide with another vehicle because of their distracted state.
Eating and makeup. As people commute to work, many do not leave enough time to get ready in the morning. This means they may be hungry but not have enough time to sit in their kitchen and have breakfast, so they grab something to eat while driving. This not only takes one or both hands to eat but also takes their focus off driving. The same is true of people who do their makeup while driving. Their focus is not where it should be: on the road.
Other accidents. People are curious by nature. Many accidents occur in groups. As one accident happens, other drivers slow down to look at the accident and see what is happening, not looking in front of them. This can cause accidents to happen in a chain reaction as drivers stop paying attention to driving and instead let their focus shift to gawking at another accident.
Talking. When there are passengers in the car, conversations can keep things lively. But conversations can also take a driver’s focus off the road and put their mind deep into the conversation they are having. Whether having a conversation on the phone or with another person in the car, the driver’s focus shifts to the discussion and away from driving.
Dealing with children or pets. Children and pets often require lots of attention. Children always want you to see what they are doing and asking for you to look. When you have multiple children, they may start fighting or get on each other’s nerves. This can cause drivers to lose focus on driving and instead try to deal with the situation in the back. The same is true of pets. They may be in the back or even on the driver’s lap, which can make them an obstruction to a driver’s ability to drive effectively.
Not looking at the road. Sometimes drivers simply do not look at the road. It does not make sense for a driver to take their eyes off the road for no apparent reason; yet, many do. When a driver is not looking at the road, they can be surprised when a car suddenly stops or pulls out in front of them. Because the driver was not paying attention, they may not have time to hit the brakes, causing a more serious collision and more severe injuries.
Highland Park Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Help Clients Recover from an Accident
Getting into a car accident causes frustration and can potentially cause serious and life-threatening injuries. When someone else causes your accident because they were distracted, that just adds to the frustration. To help you avoid confusion about what comes next, speak with the Highland Park car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr. Our knowledgeable team of lawyers will investigate the cause of the accident and fight to obtain the best compensation possible for your case. Call us today at 877-249-4600 or 732-537-8570 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Highland Park, New Jersey, we serve clients in New Brunswick, Somerset, Piscataway, Edison, South River, Sayreville, Metuchen, East Brunswick, South Plainfield, Fords, Middlesex, Old Bridge, Iselin, Bound Brook, Perth Amboy, Colonia, Elizabeth, and Newark.