No one expects to be involved in a car accident while commuting to work or taking their kid to soccer practice or dance class, but car crashes take place every day in Maryland and the DC area. And, many of these accidents are caused by distracted drivers.
How can drivers be distracted?
There are a variety of ways a driver can be distracted. For example, tuning the radio, manipulating a GPS system, talking to passengers or eating while behind the wheel can all be distractions that lead to car accidents. However, perhaps one of the biggest ways a driver can be distracted is through cellphone use.
Texting and driving while behind the wheel distracts a motorist in three ways. A person is visually distracted, because their eyes are on their phone, not on the road. A person is manually distracted, because they are using their hands to manipulate the phone, not steer the car. Finally, a person is cognitively distracted, because they are concentrating on the text message rather than paying attention to the task of driving.
How big is the distracted driving problem?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each day, around nine people lose their lives and over 1,000 suffer injuries in distracted driving accidents. If you are travelling at 55 mph, and you are texting while doing so for even five seconds, it is as if you have driven the length of a football field with your eyes closed.
As this shows, distracted driving breaches a motorist’s duty to drive reasonably under the circumstances. If this breach causes a car accident that causes another driver or passenger to suffer injuries, the injured party may want to determine if they can seek compensation for their losses.