Understanding the dangers of distracted driving

On Behalf of | Jan 31, 2022 | Personal Injury |

In a world filled with distractions, it can be hard to stay focused on the task at hand. You know just how important it is to keep your eyes and mind on the road when driving though, which is why you take great care to reduce the number of potential distractions. Not everyone is so cautious when it comes to driving, though. Distracted driving continues to be a growing problem that puts everyone in Ohio at risk.

Distracted driving is associated with car accidents, injuries and even deaths. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — the CDC — even reports that distracted drivers kill around eight people each and every day. That is around 3,500 deaths per year.

The three types of distracted driving

Did you know that there are different types of distractions? While they might all fall under the umbrella term of distracted driving, they are all a little different:

  • A manual distraction is anything that requires you to take your hands off the steering wheel, such as adjusting the radio or petting a dog.
  • A visual distraction is anything that takes your eyes off the road, including looking at an accident as you drive by.
  • A cognitive distraction is anything that takes your mind off the task of driving, like daydreaming or planning your grocery list.

Smartphones create a distraction at a unique intersection of all three types of distractions. When texting, you have at least one hand on your phone instead of the wheel, your eyes are looking at the screen and your focus is on what you are typing. This makes texting while driving among the most dangerous and deadly distracted driving behaviors.

Similarities with drunk driving

One of the things that makes distracted driving so dangerous is that it mimics many of the symptoms of drunk driving. When you drive with up to the legal limit of alcohol in your system, your ability to react slows down by about 12%. With distracted driving, your reaction slows by 35%. This is not to say that drunk driving is significantly safer than distracted driving, though. Drunk drivers still kill close to 10,000 people every year.

Surviving a distracted driving accident is a physically, emotionally and financially distressing experience. Like many victims, you might feel isolated and alone in your experience. Fortunately, victims of car accidents in Ohio have the opportunity to pursue compensation that is necessary for their recovery.