Barreling down the road at 55 miles enables you to travel the length of a regulation football field in only five seconds. That same five-second period is the time it takes to read or respond to a text message. Drivers who allow themselves to get distracted while driving are essentially driving with their eyes closed.
There’s a considerable distance for crashes to occur in the length of a regulation football field. Distracted driving claims nine lives nationally each day. That equates to around 3,100 deaths each year. There are also about 424,000 injuries attributed to distracted driving each year. The sad fact is that each one of those deaths and injuries was preventable if the driver had paid attention to the road instead of becoming distracted.
3 types of distractions
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that three types of distractions can impact a driver’s ability to operate a vehicle:
- Cognitive distractions impact the ability to think
- Visual distractions stop a driver from looking at the road
- Manual distractions require the driver to take their hands off the steering wheel
Some distractions encompass all three types, but others may only involve one or two. For example, looking at a billboard is a visual and cognitive distraction. Scratching a leg is a manual distraction. Doing anything on the phone involves all three types of distractions. Unfortunately, those seemingly simple actions can result in a crash that leads to death or injury.
Anyone whom a distracted driver injures can opt to seek compensation to help cover the medical costs and other expenses related to the crash. State law limits how long you have to get this claim filed, so don’t delay action.