Distracted Driving Comes In Many Forms, And Most Are Deadly
Would you drive a car, when you couldn’t see? Probably not. But that’s what many of us do, without knowing, when we are distracted in our vehicles.
Texting Behind the Wheel
Texting while driving is the distraction that so many people have spoken about. You may not realize it, but your vehicle can travel the length of multiple football fields, just in the 15-20 seconds it takes for you to look down at your phone and read a text message.
Whatever you hit by the time you look back up at the roadway, likely was not even visible with the naked eye, at the time you initially looked down at whatever was distracting you. And when you look up, you may actually not even see what’s there—by some estimates, it can take between 20-30 seconds for your eyes and brain to “reorient” themselves to the roadway and the surroundings after looking down.
Like Being Drunk
You may never have thought of getting behind the wheel while intoxicated. But some studies show that texting while driving distracts you as if you had drank four beers before driving. In fact, reaction time after being distracted has been found to be slower than reaction time that people with elevated blood alcohol levels have.
When people are texting while driving, it may be hard for them to deny they were distracted. As part of many lawsuits, victims can get access to the phone records of the other driver, to document whether or not the driver was looking at a phone or was otherwise distracted at the time of the accident.
Florida has now passed laws that make texting while driving illegal, and a police officer can pull over drivers who are texting while driving. That has helped some of the problems. But nowadays, there are even more distractions than ever, that go far beyond what’s in or on our phones.
Our cars today have screens and infotainment systems that are complex, control major functions of the vehicle, and for many who may not be technologically inclined, can be confusing and distracting.
We are constantly distracted even by non technological factors like looking for objects, putting on makeup, or turning around to see what’s going on in the back seat of the car.
The Statistics are Grim
About 9 people die everyday as a result of distracted driving. There are 1,000 injuries that happen every day, due to distracted driving, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
It is highly likely that these statistics are under-reported. In many cases, when people are just looking in another direction or fiddling with an infotainment system, there may not be hard evidence of distraction the way there is when there is a cell phone record.
Still, distracted driving remains one of the leading killers of those who are involved in car accidents.
Call the West Palm Beach injury attorneys at Pike & Lustig today if you have been injured by the actions of a distracted driver.