Distracted driving is becoming a major problem, both in Louisiana and nationwide, largely because of the near-total adoption of smartphones by Americans of all ages. But there is more than one way to become distracted behind the wheel.
Have you ever groaned at rubberneckers disrupting the flow of traffic when they slow down to gawk at a crash? Nearly hit another car because you were juggling your coffee and breakfast sandwich and missed the light turning red? Or have you ever been rear-ended by someone who was reading a text instead of watching the road? Then you know what we mean about multiple kinds of distraction.
The Louisiana Highway Safety Commission reports an average of 38 deaths and 5,400 injuries each year caused by distracted driving. Nationally, distracted driving deaths totaled 3,166 in 2017, 599 of them pedestrians. That’s nine deaths every day.
So what are the most common forms of driver distraction and what can we do to stop it?
Common Causes of Distracted Driving
There are many ways to become distracted while driving, including:
- Talking on your cell phone, whether by holding it up to your ear or using hands-free functionality
- Reading and sending text messages or social media posts
- Talking to passengers
- Eating and drinking
- Adjusting the stereo, air conditioning, or navigation system
- Reaching for something in the car, such as a travel mug, CD, or wallet
- Reacting to a moving object in the car, such as a pet, insect, or shifting cargo
- Staring at distracting objects outside the car, such as animals, signage, or a crash
- Inattention, fatigue, or daydreaming
What Can I Do About Distracted Driving?
A study of 2,000 Americans conducted by The Zebra in January 2020 found that although 37.1% of respondents believed that texting while driving impaired their ability to drive safely, 28.6% admitted to doing it regularly, and 56.7% of respondents admitted to eating and drinking in the car.
If we want to help prevent distracted driving accidents, we need to stop allowing ourselves to become distracted. We can make adjustments to our daily routines and be more conscious of potential consequences to a small decision.
We can also make sure that those around us practice safe driving habits and obey Louisiana state laws about cell phone use as well.
Louisiana State Laws concerning distracted driving include:
- It is illegal for all drivers to text or post to social media while driving.
- It is illegal for all drivers to use their cell phones while driving in a school zone.
- It is illegal for drivers under the age of 18, in their first year of licensure, or who have a learner’s permit or intermediate license, to use their cellphones while driving.
If you are the passenger in a vehicle where the driver is using their cell phone behind the wheel or looking away from the road to perform some other task, remind them that paying attention to driving comes first. You could even offer to complete whatever task distracted them, such answering a phone call or reading a text message, for them. It is also important for parents to lead by example and always make sure to avoid falling prey to distractions when their children are in their vehicles.
Injured By a Distracted Driver?
A text can always wait, and when you or someone you love is injured because someone else wasn’t paying attention to the road, we believe you shouldn’t be responsible for paying for your medical bills out-of-pocket.
When you hire Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers, our distracted driving accident attorneys will collect evidence to prove the accident wasn’t your fault, and do everything we can to get you the compensation you deserve for the injuries and pain you suffered.
In addition, we know that auto accident injuries often mean temporary or even permanent disabilities—and that can mean weeks, months, or even years of lost wages. That’s why we’ll work hard to help you get compensation for any paychecks you missed while you were away from work recovering.
We care about helping you get your life back together after an accident. So contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.
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