Being a distracted driver is dangerous. Distracted driving is often linked to texting and driving, since that is one of the most prominent reasons for drivers to be distracted today. However, there are other ways a driver can become distracted, such as visual, manual and cognitive distractions. Knowing these dangers can help drivers avoid them, but it can also aid people who suffer a serious injury in an auto accident to know whether or not a driver who was distracted might have caused the crash.
Studies in recent years have shown that distracted driving injures more than 1,150 people on a daily basis. Drivers might have visual distractions and take their eyes from the road, manual distractions taking their hands off the wheel and cognitive distractions not concentrating on driving. While texting and driving and using a cellphone are associated with distracted driving, a distraction can come from eating, changing entertainment systems and even reading.
The number of people who admit to using a cellphone while driving is as high as 69 percent for ages 18 to 64. They confessed that this occurred within 30 days of being asked. It's not just speaking on a cellphone that is a danger. Given the new types of smartphones available, people are able to try to multitask with text messages, emails and other computer-based activities.
Drivers with less experience were found to be more vulnerable to distractions. They might believe they're able to do more than one thing at a time and maintain safety. Drivers don't realize the distance they will travel while looking away from the road at their phone, the radio or a navigation system. States are increasingly putting laws in place to try to punish those who are found to be distracted while driving. Even with that, being a distracted driver is a problem that is still prominent and causes many accidents with injuries and fatalities.
Source: cdc.gov, "Distracted Driving," accessed on May 5, 2015