Distraction from the road is one of the leading causes of motor vehicle accidents in the United States, and while texting while driving is certainly dangerous, texts are not the only distraction facing drivers. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, crashes with distracted driving as an identified factor cause an average of eight fatalities in the country each day. Over 1,100 people are injured in such crashes every day.
The CDC identifies three major distraction types that can cause drivers not to pay full attention to the road. The first is visual distraction: Any activity or thing that causes you take eyes from the road is a visual distraction. Texting, using your cellphone to dial a phone number, looking at the radio or climate controls, looking at something of interest outside of the vehicle or looking that the GPS might all be visual distractions.
The second type of distraction is manual. This happens when you remove your hands from the steering wheel. You might do so to eat or drink, make a gesture, reach into another seat or control a device. While it's very common for drivers to remove one hand from the steering wheel to conduct activities in a car, drivers should always be aware of the road and have the ability to control the steering wheel at any second.
Finally, a driver can be distracted cognitively. This means your mind is not on the task at hand – which is something we've all done while driving. Have you ever arrived at a common destination without remembering driving there? The auto-pilot syndrome means your mind was on other things while you were driving.
If you are in an accident caused by someone else's distracted driving, you could have a claim for compensation. Working with a northwest Georgia lawyer to file that claim might increase your chance at a successful outcome.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Distracted Driving," accessed April 15, 2016