As technology advances, so does the potential for drivers to pay more attention to their gadgets than to the road itself. As drivers focus on their cell phones, GPS navigators and MP3 players, they lose focus on controlling their vehicle and protecting the safety of their passengers and occupants of other vehicles. As a result, more and more crashes occur due to distracted drivers each year.
According to a study from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), driver distraction and inattention is the leading cause in most crashes and in most near-crashes. Driver inattention due to distractions such as cell phones and drowsiness played a large role in almost 80 percent of crashes and 65 percent of near crashes, occurring within the three seconds prior to the event.
Common Driving Distractions
It is important to be aware of the most prominent causes of driver distraction and to take action to prevent these behaviors while driving:
- Drowsiness. Drowsy driving increases a driver’s risk of crashing or a near-crash accident by at least four times.
- Cell phone use. Crashes caused by looking at the phone to dial occurred just as frequently as when talking or listening.
- Reaching for a moving or fallen object. This increases the risk of an accident by a factor of 9.
- Looking at an external object. In these situations, even though the driver is indeed paying attention to surroundings, he or she has taken attention away from the task of driving.
- Applying makeup. A person applying makeup is three times as likely to crash.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, contact the Iowa personal injury lawyers of LaMarca Law Group, P.C. at 877-327-2600 today.