While cell phones and similar electronic devices are used by most people on a near-constant basis, many people understand that texting while driving or using a handheld phone to make a call while behind the wheel can be very dangerous. Public safety campaigns have emphasized the dangers of these activities, and laws have been passed that make it illegal to use electronic devices while driving unless they are in hands-free mode. However, there are multiple other forms of distracted driving that can lead to dangerous car accidents. Victims who have been injured in these types of accidents can work with an attorney to determine their options for pursuing compensation from a distracted driver.
Activities That Can Take a Driver’s Attention Away From the Road
Distracted driving may involve visual distractions in which a person looks away from the road, manual distractions in which a driver takes their hands off the steering wheel, or cognitive distractions in which a driver’s attention is focused on something other than the act of driving. Texting or using a cell phone can be especially dangerous, since these actions involve all three types of distractions. However, there are multiple other activities that can cause a driver to be distracted, including:
Eating and drinking – Eating a meal from a drive-through restaurant, snacking on foods such as chips or candy, or drinking beverages such as soft drinks or coffee will require a driver to take at least one hand off the wheel. Drivers may also become distracted because of spills on themselves or inside the vehicle.
Grooming – Drivers may look away from the road so they can use a mirror to adjust their hair or makeup, and focusing on their own appearance rather than the act of driving may cause them to miss important details and be unable to avoid a collision.
Reaching for objects – A driver may attempt to pick up items that have fallen on the floor of their vehicle or reach for items in the back seat. This may cause them to turn their body or lean out of their seat, drastically affecting their ability to see what is happening on the road.
Talking with passengers – Focusing on a conversation will take at least some of a driver’s attention away from the road, affecting their ability to notice what is happening around their vehicle and respond correctly to conditions on the road.
Dealing with children or pets – Small children may command a parent’s attention, and a driver may feel that they need to reach into the back seat to attend to a child’s needs or break up arguments between children. Even if a driver keeps their hands on the wheel, they may need to look away from the road regularly to check on children or pets, and their attention may be diverted from driving.
Adjusting a vehicle’s controls – Taking one’s hands off the wheel to change stations on a car’s radio, adjust heat or air conditioning, or change the position of a seat can affect a driver’s ability to safely control a vehicle.
Daydreaming – A driver’s attention may wander, especially if they are following a regular, everyday route, and a lack of concentration may cause them to miss important details, such as the movements of other vehicles or pedestrians.
Contact Our Springfield Distracted Driving Accident Attorneys
If you have been injured by a distracted driver, the attorneys of Kanoski Bresney can help you establish liability for an accident, and we will work to make sure you will be fully compensated for all of the damages you have suffered. Contact our Bloomington car accident lawyers at 888-826-8682 to set up a complimentary consultation.