Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of San Diego car accidents. And the problem is not going away any time soon. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3,154 people were killed in auto accidents involving distracted drivers in the year 2013. About 400,000 people were injured in distraction-related crashes.
It is critical that drivers have their hands on the wheel, eyes on the road, and their mind focused on the act of driving. The moment you lose focus, look away, or take your hands off the wheel, you are distracted. Here are some of the most common and dangerous forms of distracted driving:
- Daydreaming: The leading cause of distracted driving is getting lost in thought. All drivers must remain vigilant when behind the wheel.
- Cell phone use: Making a phone call, sending a text, reading an email, or surfing the Web are all extremely distracting activities that require your eyes, hands, and focus.
- Passengers: Talking to a passenger can prove distracting, but it is particularly dangerous to turn to talk with an occupant.
- Outside object or person: Billboards, pedestrians, and storefronts can pull our focus from the roadway.
- Reaching for something: If you are trying to grab something in your car, at least one of your hands will be off the wheel, and you may have to look away from the road.
- Eating and drinking: Just because your car has a cup holder does not mean it is safe to eat and drink while in motion.
- The radio: Changing the radio, a CD, or adjusting what you are listening to on your phone can prove distracting.
- Bugs: There are few things as distracting as knowing you have a bug or bee flying around in your car.
- Pets: It is advisable to buckle your pet in your car. It will keep your pet safe and prevent them from moving around in your vehicle.
- Smoking: Lighting, smoking, and putting out your cigarette can distract you long enough to cause a crash.
Make sure you completely avoid all distractions whenever you are behind the wheel. If you are injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, please understand that you have legal rights.
Distracted driving does amount to negligence, which means you can seek compensation from the at-fault drivers for the injuries, damages, and losses sustained. Contact an experienced San Diego car accident lawyer to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights.
Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers can be reached at (888) 233-5020.