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Have you ever checked your GPS or map on the way to a new location? Changed the radio station on your car radio while cruising down the road? Turned to answer a question posed by a passenger while driving? If so, you have engaged in distracted driving.
Most drivers have heard the warnings related to the dangers of texting or talking on a cell phone while driving. Traffic safety experts now hope to raise awareness on all types of “distracting driving” activities, which include:
Distracted driving occurs any time a driver takes their eyes off of the road, or is mentally engaged in a task other than driving. When drivers even temporarily lose sight or focus on the road ahead, they are engaged in distracted driving.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 9 people each day are killed in an automobile crash involving a distracted driver.
With over 480,000 drivers handling their cell phones or other electronic devices while driving at any given time in the United States, the problem of distracted driving continues to be a significant safety risk. Research conducted by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute states that drivers are 3 times more likely to get into a motor vehicle accident when distracted by a cell phone while driving.
In response to the problem of distracted driving, car manufacturers are reexamining the functionality of infotainment systems and the mental demands they place on drivers. To complete an infotainment system task requires a driver’s visual and cognitive attention.
When a vehicle’s infotainment system allows the driver to perform tasks unrelated to driving, such as browsing the internet or checking social media, it increases the risk for distracted driving. AAA research indicates that of the 30 infotainment systems in new 2017 vehicles tested, 12 systems generated a “very high” demand on the drivers, while 11 systems creating a “high” demand on the driver.
Recognizing the dangers associated with distracted driving is the first step in reducing the frequency of this driving behavior. Many traffic safety advocacy organizations, such as the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, are launching research and public education campaigns to warn drivers of the risks associated with distracted driving.
Drivers should remember that even the five seconds it takes to send a text, travel time equivalent to crossing a football field, could cost someone their life.
Recognizing that cell phones are a major cause of distracted driving, several cell phone apps also have been developed to help fight distracted driving. Many drivers have taken a “Distracted Driving Pledge” to pull over to the side of the road before checking a map or sending a text message.
If you have suffered injuries in a car accident caused by distracted driving, you may be entitled to compensation. To speak to an experienced Bear car accident lawyer at Rhoades & Morrow about your litigation options, call today at 302-834-8484 or submit an online inquiry form. From our offices in Bear, Wilmington, and Milford we serve injured workers throughout the state of Delaware.