Distracted Driving in New Orleans
Distracted driving is quickly becoming the main reason for traffic accidents. Over the past five years, it has challenged the number of accidents due to drunk driving in its rise to the number one spot. For many people, distraction while driving is an extension of their everyday life where multitasking is routine. However, the difference with distracted driving is that it is often the cause of fatal personal injuries. The Insurance Information Institute reports that almost 10 percent of all fatal traffic collisions were due to distraction in 2019. It is important to understand the causes of distracted driving and how it can be prevented.
What Is Distracted Driving?
Basically, distracted driving exists when a motorist puts their focus on something other than the road while behind the wheel of a vehicle. Distracted driving is broken into four elements such as:
- Cognitive distraction: This occurs when the motorist is thinking about something else other than the road. It could involve daydreaming or more concrete issues such as an appointment later that afternoon or a child’s medical visit. By doing this, the preoccupied driver is setting themself up for a collision.
- Visual distractions: This occurs when the driver looks at something other than the road. It could be an accident or their own GPS unit. Whatever it is, it can cause a driver to miss a stopped vehicle ahead or at a traffic light.
- Auditory distractions: We’ve all listened to loud music, singing along in the car. When we do that, we may become so engrossed in the music that we don’t pay attention to the road ahead. This can be a deadly mistake.
- Manual distraction: Texting is the leading cause of manual distraction. When writing a response, the driver’s hands must be removed from the wheel, taking with it their control of the vehicle.
Cell Phone Use and Distracted Driving
Of all distractions, cell phone use is the main one. In 2018 alone, a national survey found that 3.2 percent of drivers were using their cell phones when stopped at an intersection. Overall, studies have shown that roughly 10 percent of all drivers are using a cell phone every minute of the day. In addition, the use of cell phones rose as time passed. The drivers not only suffered accidents but the number of near misses is astronomical.
Why Is Texting So Dangerous?
The reason texting is so dangerous is that this activity requires manual, visual and cognitive distraction. The combination of these three elements nearly guarantees that an accident will occur. Consider the fact that it takes five seconds for a vehicle to travel the length of a football field. This is also the length of time needed to read an average text. Imagine a vehicle traveling at 60 mph on a crowded highway, and you will understand the reason texting has been relatively outlawed in most states.
Preventing Distraction on the Road
One way to end distraction is to legally forbid it, something that is already instituted in many places. However, some risky drivers continue to text despite hefty fines and penalties. Another approach is to make young drivers aware of the danger when they begin to drive.
Olinde Law Firm
The Olinde Law Firm is available to help you file a personal injury lawsuit if you or a family member has been injured by a distracted driver. Call us at (800) 587-1889 to schedule a free case review. You can also reach out to us online if that is more convenient. Let us help you and give yourself time to heal after a distracted driving collision.