Everyone has experienced the feeling of being lost in thought. Whether thinking about work, family troubles, or even what to cook for dinner, being preoccupied with thoughts is not uncommon. Unfortunately, this seemingly harmless habit is estimated to cause thousands of fatal and injurious car crashes each year. One study found that daydreaming is actually the number one cause of fatal car crashes.
Inattention Behind the Wheel is More Dangerous Than Previously Realized
Driving is a complex process that uses our eyes, ears, hands, and feet. However, driving becomes second nature to most people. Most adults do not even have to think about the steps involved in driving. Muscle memory takes over and the process becomes automatic. The driver stops thinking about driving.
When a driver’s mind begins to wander, he or she is more likely to make mistakes that can lead to a crash. For example, a parent worrying about his child’s school performance instead of watching the road may begin to speed without even realizing it. Similarly, a driver lost in a daydream may not notice brake lights in front of her until it is too late to stop.
While these facts may seem obvious, it is only recently that researchers have amassed data to support the theory that daydreaming causes crashes. One study conducted by Erie Insurance found that 61 percent of fatal distracted driving accidents were caused by being lost in thought. Other studies have confirmed this finding.
Taking Legal Action After a Distracted Driving Accident
If you were injured or a loved one was killed in a crash, it is very possible that distracted driving caused by daydreaming was a contributing factor. Daydreaming is not prohibited by law the way handheld cell phone use behind the wheel is prohibited. However, drivers are expected to pay attention and drive with a reasonable degree of caution. If a driver’s negligence causes a crash, the driver may be liable for damages.
Victims of distracted driving crashes may be entitled to compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income from the time they had to take off of work
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Other losses caused by the crash
Contact a Champaign Car Accident Injury Lawyer
At Kanoski Bresney, we know how difficult it can be to get the financial compensation you need after a crash. Our Decatur personal injury attorneys can help you build a compelling claim and pursue compensation for medical bills, lost income, lost financial support from a deceased loved one, and other damages. Call 888-826-8682 for a free consultation.