It’s no secret that we lead lives of many distractions in 2017. On our morning commutes, we’re listening to the latest podcasts. During our lunch breaks, we’re checking our social media feeds and texting friends. While walking down the street or waiting for a ride home, we’re taking pictures of cool things and sharing them. Having technology right at our fingertips 100% of the time opens an endless number of opportunistic doors, but it also comes with a price. Technology distracts us.
Knowing this, it should come as no surprise that distracted driving is quickly catapulting to one of the top causes of car crashes in the U.S. According to the NHTSA, 3,477 people died in car crashes that resulted from drivers who were distracted in 2015. Over 319,000 more were injured during that same year.
Here’s another statistic that may come as a surprise: Over 660,000 drivers admit to using their cell phones while driving. It’s easy to think there’s time to check a social feed or text while waiting at a red light, but even a quick glance at a smartphone can result in devastation. At the high speeds cars travel at, actions take place within the blink of an eye. There simply isn’t room for error—or distractions.
Distractions of All Types Can Be Deadly
Smartphones are undeniably one of the top reasons we’re so distracted, but they aren’t the only cause of distracted driving accidents. Any time a driver takes their eyes off the road for a fraction of a second, they are distracted from the task of driving. When we eat while behind the wheel, we’re distracted. When we turn our head to talk to passengers in the backseat, we’re distracted. If we bend down to pick up an object, we’re distracted. Even our GPS and dashboard devices act as distractions.
It’s easy to look at our smartphones as the only cause for being distracted while driving, but to eliminate crashes caused by distracted driving, we must examine every source of distraction and do our part to eliminate distractions altogether. We may be accustomed to handling various tasks with ease while at home or work, but we are not always in control of what happens on Kentucky roadways. The only way to ensure our safety and the safety of others is to always prioritize the task of driving.
It’s also vital to remember that hands-free technology and devices do not completely eliminate the risks of distracted driving. Voice recognition technology and dashboard apps make it easier to utilize our smartphones while behind the wheel, but averting our eyes from the road while staring at our dashboard or concentrating on a text we’re dictating could be just as dangerous as manually performing that same function. When our mind is distracted, we are distracted. It’s that simple.
For some vital tips on how to avoid being distracted while behind the wheel and how to encourage others to follow your example, please watch the video below and see other blog posts Daryl T. Dixon Law has posted on distracted driving. If you’ve been seriously injured in a car accident with a driver who may have been distracted, you may also wish to consider your legal options. Contact our office to learn more or to be paired with a Paducah car crash attorney who can help you and your family recover.