An ever-increasing number of drivers on the road is engaging in activities while driving that are distracting and pose a hazard to themselves, other drivers and pedestrians. The rapid influx of electronic devices into the mainstream population has created a surge of accidents that are caused by people who are talking on the phone, texting and adjusting navigation systems.
According to a report on distracted driving by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are three ways that drivers can draw their attention away from the road. Manual distractions, such as eating, drinking, adjusting the radio and using electronic devices, cause drivers to have only partial control of the wheel. Activities that interfere with driving visually include using looking at navigation systems, applying makeup and reading. Talking on a cellphone presents a cognitive diversion by taking the driver's mind off of the road.
The risks involved in distracted driving are increased when specific factors come into play. Younger drivers are more likely to engage in hazardous behaviors while driving, such as texting, eating and talking on their cellphones, and their lack of driving experience exacerbates the risk. They may also mix drinking alcohol with these hazardous activities. Drivers under the age of 20 have the highest percentage of fatal crashes that are caused by distracted driving.
If a person has been hurt in a car accident that was caused by a negligent driver who was engaging in other activities while operating their motor vehicle, the victim may be entitled to receive compensation. A personal injury lawyer can determine if an injured party has grounds to seek a settlement or file a liability suit.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Distracted Driving," Accessed Feb. 13, 2015