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Why are distracted drivers such a hazard?

Distracted driving is a risky behavior. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving was responsible for more than 3,000 deaths in 2019 alone.

Unfortunately, part of the problem is the breadth of the issue. Although use of a smart phone while driving is one of the more well-known forms of distracted driving, this is just one of many issues.

Distractions affect drivers in different ways

Here are the three different ways drivers may become distracted:

  • Visual distractions: Next time you head out in your car, try to notice what catches your attention. Maybe it is a person walking along the street, the billboard advertising a great discount, or your dream car traveling in the opposite direction. Whatever catches your eye takes your attention away from the road, making you more likely to crash.
  • Mental distractions: Your mind is not completely on the traffic if you have conversations with yourself or practice your work presentation as you drive along. Even talking to the person next to you in the car prevents you from focusing on the road.
  • Physical distractions: Removing your hands from the wheel to do something leaves you less capable of steering around a child or dog that steps out in front of you or a car that is about to hit you. Next time you are in traffic, look at what the other drivers are doing with their hands. They might be fixing their hair, opening a packet of cookies or passing a toy to their child. All of these are forms of distractions.

Determining why another driver crashed into you is not easy. The other motorist involved is unlikely to admit the truth, as they know it will harm their chance to file an insurance claim if they do. Knowing what steps to take to determine if distracted driving was to blame for your accident will be crucial to getting adequate compensation for your injuries.