Distracted driving has existed since cars were invented, but the level of distraction has grown to become the leading cause of auto accidents in the United States. People who think they are capable of driving and doing other things at the same time can cause a car accident that could otherwise have been avoided. If you have been involved in a distracted driving car accident because of someone else’s negligence, contact Femminineo Attorneys to discuss your case.
It’s almost impossible to avoid distraction when behind the wheel unless you are driving alone in complete silence. It is easy to be distracted by other people, noises, or your own activities, including:
In the best of conditions, these distractions are dangerous. Combine distraction with high speeds, reckless driving, drunk driving, or poor weather conditions and you are that much closer to a fatal car accident.
You are the only one who can determine your level of distraction while driving. Some chaotic or noisy situations are unavoidable, but you can limit how much you succumb to them. Awareness of bad driving habits is a critical step to limiting distracted driving. Being willing to make a change in distracted driving behavior is a key to safer roads.
Every instance of distracted driving is a form of multitasking. Ultimately, when you are distracted behind the wheel, it’s because you are trying to do more than one thing at a time. You are trying to do more than the most important thing – drive.
It may seem like casually sitting in the driver’s seat with the open road ahead or the slow-moving traffic jam surrounding you is a great time to check your phone. Multitasking, however, does not improve productivity. Our brains cannot fully focus when multitasking. You may think doing more than one thing at a time is efficient, but tasks actually take longer to complete – and you’re more likely to make a mistake, like cause a car accident.
When your brain is pushed to multitask when operating a vehicle, it’s not actually doing two things at once, it’s decreasing the amount of attention it can pay to driving. If you’re someone who thinks, “I know I’m good at multitasking,” research has shown that you are likely one of the worst multitaskers.
There are some driving options that seem like they may help limit distractions and therefore enable you to drive more safely, like a built-in GPS or infotainment system. The reality, however, is that these are just more sophisticated methods of distraction, and they’re not really helping you at all.
To go hands-free, for example, you may employ Bluetooth or another form of speakerphone. When you talk on the phone while driving though, your field of vision narrows. The brain cannot process moving images as effectively and you can miss about half the things that surround you when you’re distracted, including pedestrians, bicyclists, and other motorists. You may not be holding your phone in your hands, and you may be dictating texts rather than writing them, but you’re distracting your brain to carry out these activities, and your driving will suffer for it.
You may feel like you’re being responsible by only checking your phone while at a stoplight or at a standstill in traffic. This is a mistake too. Your brain is forced to refocus when the vehicle starts moving again and this can take over 10 seconds to happen, which is easily enough time to cause a car accident.
One of the most common illustrations of distracted driving is this: If you take your eyes off the road to focus on your smartphone while driving 55 miles per hour, that is the equivalent of driving the length of a football field, and doing so blindly. A terrifying thought, right?
If you were involved in a Michigan distracted driving car accident because of a negligent driver, contact David Femminineo at Femminineo Attorneys, PLLC, in Mt. Clemens. Mr. Femminineo is an experienced personal injury lawyer who has collected millions of dollars for clients injured in car accidents. He will protect your rights to get you the compensation you deserve.