Most people associate distracted driving with cell phones and GPS. Although new technologies are certainly distracting, these are by no means the only reasons why drivers lose their focus.
According to Distraction.gov, distracted drivers killed 3,154 people in 2013 alone, and they injured hundreds of thousands more. Many of these accidents involved eating and drinking behind the wheel, smoking, rowdy passengers and other lesser-known distractions.
Distracted driving often constitutes negligence. If you were injured by an inattentive motorist, then you may be entitled to compensation for health-care bills, lost income and other damages.
If the accident happened in Texas, contact the Luke Dow Law Firm. Mr. Dow is an Austin car wreck lawyer who can evaluate your crash to determine if you may have grounds for a claim. Call 512-518-4104 to schedule a consultation.
Until then, read on to learn about 10 common distractions for drivers in Texas:
- Being Preoccupied with Thought
Being lost in thought causes an alarming 62 percent of all distracted driving deaths in the United States. It only takes a moment’s inattention to crash.
- Using Cell Phones
At least 12 percent of distracted driving fatalities involve cell phone use. Texting, watching videos and browsing social media sites can be just as dangerous as drunk driving, according to the Federal Communications Commission
- Observing outside Distractions
Accident scenes, billboards, animal activity and other outside distractions contribute to 7 percent of all distracted driving deaths. Drivers must remain vigilant and resist the urge to take their eyes off the road.
Passengers are responsible for 1 in 20 distracted driving deaths. Driving requires concentration, and loud or obnoxious passengers can disrupt a driver’s attention long enough to cause a fatal crash.
Reaching across a vehicle contributes to 2 percent of distracted driving deaths. Not only does this disrupt drivers’ attention, but it also takes them out of a position to respond quickly to hazards.
- Eating and Drinking
Drinking and eating behind the wheel causes another 2 percent of distracted driving deaths. Operating cup holders and food wrappers is disrupting – and spilling hot coffee can distract even the most vigilant drivers.
- Adjusting Audio and Climate Controls
Two percent of distracted driving deaths happen because motorists adjust radios or climate settings.
Drivers should ask that passengers operate these controls.
One in 100 distracted driving fatalities involves smoking. Drivers often become complacent when putting out cigarettes and lighting them, and dropping a cigarette is even more dangerous.
- Using Car Accessories
Adjusting seatbelts, mirrors and other accessories is also distracting. Complete these tasks before you start the engine, or pull over to a safe place to make the adjustments.
- Unexpected Movement
Sudden movements cause 1 percent of distracted driving deaths. Freely roaming pets contribute to many of these accidents; others involve loose trash and insects.
If you were injured by a distracted driver, contact the Luke Dow Law Firm. Luke Dow is an Austin accident attorney with a comprehensive understanding of Texas injury laws. He has the knowledge and resources to protect your interests, and he will fight for the maximum compensation. Call 512-518-4104 to schedule a consultation.
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