Distracted Driving Accidents
San Fernando Valley Car Accident Lawyer
As we live in a very busy society, we are continually seeking to accomplish more than one thing at a time; and this is seen a lot by those who are behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. Drivers are on their commute are continually worried about answering work emails, grooming themselves, eating their breakfast, and the like; otherwise diverting their attention from their primary focus—the road. Distracted driving is known to be among some of the greatest causes of car accidents today, and the results can be severe if not fatal.
In order to be a safe driver on the road, it requires our full attention and coordination in order to protect ourselves and those on the road around us. Three factors are included in this process as you operate a vehicle on the road including, visual, cognitive and manual attention.
Our visual coordination can be an obvious necessity, and yet by choosing to look down at your cell phone or any other distraction you are imprinting your ability to control your vehicle on the road. Being cognitive on the road means that your mind is focusing on what you are doing; namely, driving a car. A distracted driver is not only drawing their eyes away from the road but is sidetracking their thoughts; therefore making them more susceptible to an accident.
Lastly, our manual ability to control the vehicle is found in having our hands on the wheel. When a driver chooses to text message or apply their makeup on the road, your hands are then kept from the steering wheel; placing you and all those around you at risk of injury. Distracted driving comes in many different forms including cell phone usage, reading, grooming, and reading, looking at objects outside the car, as well as reaching around the vehicle for an object.
All these actions can result to the driver being unable to react in the event of a quick stop of cars on the highway, or a person changing a lane nearby. By being distracted on the road, a driver is placing their very own life in danger as well as all those on the streets and intersections around them.
Types of Distractions
While the public eye has been focused on the use of cell-phones and texting and driving, there are a number of equally dangerous distractions available to drivers. Anything that takes the mind, hands and eyes off of the road is considered a distraction and a danger to the road.
Some of the most common distractions aside from the use of hand-held devices include:
- Eating: While this activity requires little brain power, it does require the use of hands and even diversion of the eyes from the road. Additionally there are a number of things that can go wrong and draw the driver's attention from the road such as spilling hot coffee, dropping a burger in the lap of the driver and greasy, slippery hands on the steering wheel.
- Make-up or Grooming: With schedules more condensed than ever, more and more drivers are finding themselves combining driving time with grooming time. Men and women are using rear-view mirrors more often, not to watch the cars behind them but rather to apply makeup, fix their hair and even shave facial hair. This is one of the most dangerous distractions, requiring the attention, vision and hands of the driver.
- Tending to Passengers: Sometimes the things that bring the most joy can also take the most attention. Young children and pets can cause a great distraction to drivers. In fact, studies show that drivers consider passengers as one of the greatest forms of distraction when driving. Accidents do not ask for much time; a few seconds of looking back can be enough to allow for a collision to occur.
- Drowsy Driving: This is more popularly known as a contributing factor to many truck accidents but tired drivers are a hazard in any setting and any vehicle. Almost 50 percent of drivers have admitted to "dozing off" behind the wheel at some point. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has estimated that tired drivers in the United States cause up to 100,000 accidents every year, resulting in 40,000 injuries and 1,550 deaths. Not having enough sleep is nearly as dangerous as drunk driving.
- Onboard Electronics: Electronics do not have to be mobile or hand-held in order to cause distraction. With more and more manufacturers installing high-tech entertainment, satellite and radio systems in their automobiles, drivers have a plethora of gadgets to fiddle with while driving. In the wrong hands, these perfectly legal and enjoyable perks can be deadly.
- Roadside Diversions: Almost all drivers will admit to succumbing to the temptation of what is affectionately known as "rubbernecking." Any roadside diversions, from colorful billboards to other car accidents and even sidewalk pedestrians can draw a drivers eyes away from the road long enough to allow for an accident. When driving for long periods of time, it is easy to allow oneself to be distracted by the extraordinary but when driving at high speeds even three seconds of sacrificed reaction time is enough for a road hazard to enter the collision zone.
- Daydreaming: Even with the eyes on the road, drivers can be distracted by their own thoughts and meditations. Routine driving can quickly become an automatic activity, allowing the drivers thoughts to shift away from driving tasks.
While cellphone use is unarguably one of the leading distractions to drivers, there are a number of other distractions equally and even sometimes more dangerous. It is important to understand these threats to one's safety in order to avoid these activities and to look out for other drivers participating in them.
Let Our Firm Fight for Your Rights
If you or a loved one have been a victim of a car accident caused by a distracted driver, you are not alone. Every day, numbers are added to the people who are suffering at the hands of negligent drivers who choose to text behind the wheel or otherwise distract themselves from the road. In 2011 there were a reported 1.3 million car crashes caused directly by drivers who were using their cell phones, and the number isn't changing. If you or a loved one have been a victim of a distracted driver accident, look no further than The Law Offices of Gerald L. Marcus. We are committed to helping victims of wrongful injuries seek the compensation they deserve for their pain and suffering after the accident.
We also represent family members of wrongful death victims seek monetary recovery for their loss. While no accident can be undone, compensation can help you and your family focus on healing rather than the stress of medical bills and other subsequent costs from the accident.
By contacting a San Fernando Valley distracted driving accident lawyer at our firm, you can rest assured that your rights will be fought for to the fullest extent.
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