It may not seem like a long time, but a few seconds can have a profound effect on your life. This is never more true than when behind the wheel of a vehicle. Diverting your attention from the windshield even for a few seconds can cause a crash. Car accidents caused by distracted drivers happen at alarming rates. Over half of all crashes wind up being attributed to the driver’s inattention. Explore for yourself some of the dangers of in-car behavior that leads to distracted driving accidents.
Using Your Cellphone
The top distraction in vehicles these days continues to be the cellphone. Even before they had the capabilities they currently do, phones were a distraction. Simply talking on the phone can lead to diversion from driving. Now that phones have evolved into computers, the lure is often too much to ignore. Drivers routinely:
- Read emails and text messages
- Compose responses
- Scroll through social media
- Take videos and pictures
- Place phone calls
Even with Bluetooth technology, a phone hooked to a hands-free infotainment center in a vehicle can become a distraction.
Grabbing a Bite
Eating and drinking behind the wheel can cause the eyes to wander frequently. Eating requires the use of at least one hand, and so you are forced to drive with only one. Taking a bite of a sandwich may temporarily block your vision. Looking down to find food that has fallen is an obvious culprit. Drinking a beverage while driving may be a recipe for disaster should the liquid spill, especially it is hot.
Changing the Channel
Radios and in-car infotainment systems are designed to help drivers. In reality, these large LED screens can become quite a distraction. Looking at the screen to change radio stations, scroll through song options and even following a GPS route diverts the eyes long enough for a crash to happen. In some vehicles, these screens can play movies, games and song lyrics. While these are intended to entertain passengers, it becomes easy for a driver to become involved in watching.
Anything that causes you as the driver to lose focus while driving is a distraction. Conversations in the vehicle, making a to-do list mentally and singing along to the radio can all cause your brain to become distracted. Zoning out while driving can happen more than even you realize. If you’ve ever arrived at a destination and not remember getting there, you were not paying attention. As a car accident lawyer in Des Moines, IA, such as from Johnston Martineau, LLP, can tell you, being on either the guilty end of a distracted driving accident or the receiving end is difficult. Avoid a crash and keep your eyes and brain on driving safely.