Q: I keep hearing about distracted driving, but what does it actually mean?
Distracted driving is now so serious that the government created a website dedicated to its prevention, called distraction.gov. Driver distraction is one of the major causes of car accidents across the nation, and it's vital that you understand what it entails and why it's so dangerous.
Distracted driving is doing anything while you're driving that takes your full focus away from the road. It is scary because many drivers think they can handle focusing on the road while doing something else, but any time you're doing two things at the same time, you are not giving your full attention to either activity… period. A study from Carnegie Mellon actually found that driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37%.
The government's distraction website lists common distractions as:
- Talking on a cellphone
- Eating or drinking
- Talking to passengers
- Grooming (brushing hair, putting on makeup, etc.)
- Reading, usually maps or the GPS navigation system
- Watching a video
- Adjusting the radio, CD player, or MP3 player
Younger drivers are the most at risk for distracted driving, but adults are also responsible for thousands of distracted driving accidents every year. Texting has been one of the most recent distractions and also one of the most dangerous. Sending or reading a text takes a person's eyes off the road for about 4.6 seconds. If you're traveling at 55 mph, that is like driving the length of an entire football field, blindfolded.
If you have been in an auto accident caused by a distracted driver in Texas, Oklahoma, or Arkansas, contact Girards Law for a free consultation at 888-897-2762.