Not every driver is as conscious of distractions as you

On behalf of Burwell Nebout Trial Lawyers on Monday, June 17, 2019.

Perhaps you consider yourself a good driver, and with good reason. You watch your speed, follow the rules of the road, and, to the extent possible, avoid distractions.

Unfortunately, the driver coming toward you is drifting across the center line and you must take evasive action. Is that driver ill, injured, drunk or simply distracted?

Not always about texting

Distracted drivers are not always using their cellphones. For example, the driver coming toward you could be eating a sandwich, drinking a cup of coffee or simply talking to a passenger. He or she could be programming the GPS system or searching for a new radio station. Some people actually read while driving, put on makeup or comb their hair. They may take their focus away from driving for a few seconds, but that is all it takes for an accident to happen.

Types of distraction

Distraction takes three forms: manual, visual and cognitive. You become a distracted driver if you take your hands off the wheel, your eyes off the road or your mind off the job of operating your vehicle. Texting is one of the more dangerous types of distraction because it requires using all three forms simultaneously.

Study results

A study undertaken by King’s College in Pennsylvania showed that more than three-quarters of the college students who participated in the study admitted to texting while driving even though they knew this was a risky behavior. Another study from the Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New York revealed that texting while driving has replaced drunk driving as the major cause of teen deaths. Response time is greater for a driver who sends or reads text messages than it is for a driver impaired by alcohol or marijuana. Here in Texas, teens under the age of 18 may not use cellphones while driving.

CDC data

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 1,000 people receive injuries and about nine people die every day in America in crashes involving a distracted driver. Hopefully, your evasive action saved you from a collision and potentially devastating injuries. However, you must remain an alert driver because the same does not always apply to others with whom you share the road.