Distracted driving is a major threat to lives and safety on Maryland roadways. Nationwide, one motor vehicle accident takes place every five seconds. Far too many of these collisions lead to fatalities. However, even if everyone escapes a crash with their lives, the long-term effects of a car accident can be devastating. Accident victims can suffer from brain injuries, broken bones, damaged organs and long-term disabilities as the result of a crash, aside from their forced time away from work and other damages.
Distracted driving: a common problem
While collisions have many causes, one of the most common and yet most preventable is distracted driving. Every year, over 3,000 people lose their lives in car accidents involving a distracted driver and many more are seriously injured. In fact, distracted driving is estimated to be a factor in over one-fourth of all collisions.
Types of distraction for drivers
When people hear about distracted driving, they may think of texting behind the wheel. While this is a common threat, it is only one type of distraction that drivers face. Visual distractions can include a navigation system, navigating the car’s touch screen or radio to find music or adjusting mirrors, as all of these tasks can take your eyes from the road ahead. Other distractions can occupy your hands, such as eating, drinking or checking your phone.
Some of the most serious distractions are cognitive, like texting or surfing behind the wheel. Not only are you using your hands and eyes to pay attention to your phone rather than the road, you are also thinking about other tasks than driving. Of course, even talking or arguing with passengers can lead to a type of distraction. In all cases, failing to get these distractions under control can pose a serious risk to yourself and others. By taking care to prevent distracted driving, you can play a role in avoiding another crash and the severe injuries that can accompany it.