There are many different things that can take a driver’s attention from the road, and they can all cause dangerous levels of distraction. When operating a vehicle, it’s crucial the person behind the wheel remain attentive and focused on what is going on. Even one moment of distraction can lead to devastating consequences, such as serious or fatal motor vehicle accidents.
When you think of distracted driving, you probably think about cell phone use. Cell phones do certainly contribute to many distraction-related accidents, but those are not the only reasons why a driver may be unfocused. Regardless of the reason why distraction happens, every Missouri driver is responsible for the choices he or she makes behind the wheel.
Different types of distraction
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately nine people die every day in distraction-related accidents across the United States, and around 1,000 suffer injuries. Doing anything behind the wheel besides keeping hands on the wheel and eyes on the road counts as distracted driving. The three main types of distraction include:
- Manual distraction includes anything that makes a driver take a hand or both hands from the wheel.
- Visual distraction is anything that causes a driver to remove his or her eyes from the road, even for a moment.
- Cognitive distraction includes anything that causes a driver to take his or her mental focus off the road.
Phones are particularly dangerous as they can involve all three types of distraction at the same time. However, other things can be risky as well, including eating while driving, talking with a passenger, adjusting the radio, putting on make-up or even looking at a billboard while driving by. For example, when a driver traveling at 55 miles per hour takes his or her eyes off the road for even five seconds, he or she travels approximately the length of a football field while looking away.
Are you a victim?
If you are a victim of a distracted driving accident, you have options available to you. It is possible to hold liable parties accountable for their actions through a civil claim. You may find that it helps to start by seeking an evaluation of your case and assessment of your legal options with an experienced personal injury attorney. With the right help, you can pick up the pieces and move forward after a serious accident.