While driving a vehicle is a great way to gain freedom and help you get from point A to point B quickly and efficiently, it can also be incredibly dangerous, especially when drivers become distracted. We all see others driving while distracted, and many of us can admit to doing it ourselves, but the harsh reality of how dangerous it can be is not something we can continue to ignore. Even when driven carefully and defensively, cars kill. When our driving skills and focus are compromised, the stakes are raised and other people’s lives, along with our own and our passengers, are placed in danger.
Driving can be so dangerous in fact that the CDC reported nine people in the United States are killed every day in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver and it is believed that a whopping 4,000 to 8,000 crashes per day are associated with distracted driving. With more drivers on the road every year and an alarmingly high rate of fatal crashes due to distracted driving, it’s never been more important to pay attention to the top distractions and do your part to drive safely.
Texting or using your cell phone
Arguably the top distraction for drivers is using a cell phone while operating a motor vehicle. While we rush from place to place, too many of us are talking/texting/checking texts or emails while driving through dangerous roads or in residential neighborhoods where kids are playing. Think about it, aren’t we tempting fate? A text message and email can wait and choosing to respond when you safely come to a stop can make a world of difference in how safe you are behind the wheel.
Cell phone drivers’ reaction times are reduced by approximately 20 percent and such drivers are significantly more likely to be involved in rear end collisions than drivers not using cell phones. This is especially important when we are driving with our children in the car, not only because keeping them safe is our #1 job as parents, but also, they tend to copy our behaviors. Setting examples for our kids to drive without distractions and setting our phones down to pay attention to the road is a great way to keep you and your family safe and to encourage these habits for the next generation of drivers.
Actively eating or drinking
Life moves fast and sometimes it can be challenging to find time in the day to sit down and eat a meal. While it may be tempting to grab food on the go and eat or drink while you’re driving to your next appointment, this can be extremely dangerous. One important statistic regarding this that we can’t ignore is that 51% of drivers admitted that their driving had been compromised at least once by their decision to eat or drink while behind the wheel.
Daydreaming or paying attention to something outside the vehicle
We are all guilty of slowing down and looking at accidents on the road, and this is one of the main reasons traffic jams can stretch for miles. While it’s important to obey the law and slow down for emergency vehicles, paying attention to something outside of the vehicle or even daydreaming (which can easily happen when you drive for an extended period of time) can create dangerous distractions for drivers. When you take your eyes off the road in front of you or don’t pay attention to the drivers around you and your task of driving, you are placing yourself at risk for a car accident.
Since accidents can happen, even if you are an alert driver, you may find yourself in the unfortunate situation of needing help from a personal injury lawyer. It’s important in these instances that you work with someone who cares, and someone who takes the time to gain a complete understanding of your injuries and what you will need to recover from them.
Mark T. Freeley has decades of experience working as a personal injury attorney on Long Island and is skilled in obtaining full and fair compensation for his clients’ medical care, future care, loss of income, property damage, and any other considerations relevant to their claim.
If you or someone you know was in a serious car accident on Long Island and needs an attorney, call Mark at 631-495-9435 for an honest conversation.