In 2018 in Texas, nearly 20 percent of all traffic accidents were caused by distracted drivers. That statistic has remained the same for five years, indicating drivers are simply not learning the driving behaviors they need to avoid. At Springer Lyle, our attorneys want to be sure you know what distracted driving is and to understand just how dangerous it can be.
When people hear the phrase “distracted driving,” they generally assume it refers only to drivers who are texting or talking on the phone while driving. But, there is more to it than that. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) identifies three types of distracted driving, all of which are dangerous and should be avoided.
Manual. A manual distraction occurs when you take your hands off the steering wheel even for a nanosecond. This often occurs without you even thinking about it.
· You drop something on the floor and lean down to pick it up.
· You look in the mirror to adjust your hair—which is a combination of manual and visual distractions.
· You reach to the radio to adjust the station. Again, also taking your eyes of the road as well.
· You reach to the back seat to get something, or to deal with children who need some attention.
· Eating or drinking.
Visual. When you take your eyes off the road. Examples include:
· Being a Looky-Lou as you pass an accident.
· Looking at a billboard.
· Looking in your rearview mirror to check your appearance.
· Looking at a map or your GPS.
· Looking at a clock.
· Looking for the correct street to turn on.
Cognitive. When you take your mind off driving. Examples include:
· Listening to the radio. This can be a talk-show, a news station, music, or anything that takes your mind off driving and focuses it on what you are listening to.
· Listening to an audible book or book on tape.
· Engaging in a conversation with a passenger.
· Talking on your cellphone even if it is hands free. Your mind is on your conversation, not on your driving.
If you were injured by a distracted driver, the personal injury attorneys at Springer & Lyle can help you obtain the reasonable compensation you are entitled to for your injuries, lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other physical damage. Contact us at 940.387.0404 for a free consultation.