Distracted Driving May Be More Dangerous Than You Think

texting while driving

We all know that texting while driving is not safe. But did you realize that distracted driving in its various forms is one of the biggest threats to driver safety?

What The Reports Say About Distracted Driving

According to a Virginia Tech research article that was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, when drivers are engaged in distracted activities, such as crying, texting or reaching for objects, they double their risk of having an accident. These findings are important as it shows us a younger population of drivers, teens in particular, who tend to be more prone to engaging in activities that are distracting. Analysis has shown that if steps aren't taken now to start limiting the number of distracting activities in a car, the upcoming generation of drivers will continue to pose a great risk on our roads. During the study researchers used a naturalistic driving method from the Transportation Institute which uses certain technology, such as cameras, radars and sensors, that is placed in vehicles to collect real-world data and then use it to analyze a driver's performance on the road. The Results of the Study The researchers looked at data from some 3,500 drivers over a period of three years, pulled from six collection sites in the United States. They documented over 1,500 crashes, 905 of which were high-severity crashes. Using the driving technique, they could also document which factors led to the crashes. Besides using a cell phone while behind the wheel, some of the other distractions that were determined to increase a crash risk included:

  • Fatigue
  • Writing or reading
  • Interacting with a teen or adult passenger
  • Driving while crying, sad, emotional or angry
  • Using a GPS touchscreen or other in-car technology
  • Reach for other objects around the car

The researchers then compared the crash rates of the distracted drivers with model drivers who were sober, alert and attentive in order to determine the increased crash risk. A mere couple of seconds of pre-crash video was then looked at and it was found that over 60 percent and almost 1,000 serious crashes involved some form of observable distraction. It was also found in the analysis that, besides impairment, distracted driving is one of the greatest detriments to the safety of drivers. Distractions that causes drivers to take their eyes off the road the longest, like visual-manual tasks – tend to greatly increase a driver's crash risk. Interestingly, the researchers also found that putting on makeup and following a car too closely – both factors that have previously been associated with an increased in accidents – weren't determined to significantly factor into crashes. They also discovered that drivers who had a child in the car were less likely to have a car accident.

What to Do If You're Involved in a Crash

If you're involved in a distracted driving car accident, you will need the help of a personal injury lawyer to ensure your claims go smoothly. Talk to the team at Clore Law today about the best way forward. Call 843-722-8070.

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Clore Law Group welcomes your questions about any issues concerning a serious personal injury, car accident, medical malpractice, nursing home neglect, business tort, or workplace injury. If you have a viable claim, we’ll explain the legal process. Since consultations are always free, there’s no cost in learning your legal options.