The Nine Most Common Driver Distractions – Auto Accident Lawyer in Tampa FL
ar accidents happen every day. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that over 30,000 people were killed in auto accidents in the year 2013 alone. Distraction.gov, the official site for distracted driving hosted by the U.S. Government, reported that over 3,000 people were killed as a result of automobile accidents that involved distracted drivers – and this doesn’t account for the 424,000 people who suffered injuries from such accidents. Various factors regularly contribute to auto accidents, but distracted driving is one of the most common contributors. If you have been injured in an accident, an auto accident lawyer in Tampa FL can help you determine if you have a case. However, if you are found at fault for the accident (whether due to distracted driving or other unsafe driving behaviors), it is highly unlikely that your case will be considered viable. Here’s a short list of the most common distractions. You might notice more of these on the road than you’d initially think.
It may come as no surprise that texting is one of the most common distractions to drivers. In 2009, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration published a report entitled “Driver Distraction in Commercial Vehicle Operations,” which aimed to determine the inherent risks involved in distracted driving. The report reveals that the average time that a texting driver’s eyes are focused on their phone is a mere five seconds; however, it only takes five seconds to travel the distance of a football field at 55 mph.
2) Cell Phones
Even if you’re determined to avoid texting while driving, any sort of cell phone use that occurs while driving can be dangerous. The state of Florida has not banned the use of cell phones by drivers, but talking on a phone while driving – even when using a speakerphone function or a hands-free device – can result in a serious accident.
3) Hands-Free Devices
Distraction.gov reports that hands-free devices do not substantially reduce the risk of an accident stemming from distracted driving. Despite the lessened need for manual interaction, hands-free devices still allow a driver to communicate with other people while driving, which diverts a driver’s attention away from driving safely.
4) In-Car Accessory Controls
Though an increasing number of cars feature conveniently placed accessory controls on the steering wheel, many of these controls require a driver’s focus when he or she attempts to use them, which only adds to the risk of an accident. These accessories include radios, GPS systems, cruise control functions, mirror controls, temperature settings, and just about any other in-car function that could prove to be distracting when operating the vehicle.
5) Talking to Other Passengers
Having a companion come along for the ride can be a highly enjoyable experience, but those with less driving experience are likely to be distracted by other passengers. AAA recently conducted research that revealed that about 15 percent of distraction accidents stem from teen drivers who were distracted by other passengers at the time of the accident.
6) Personal Grooming
We live in a fast-paced world, which has made it difficult to set aside time for all of our daily routines. No matter the situation, you should avoid applying makeup, shaving, or any other sort of personal grooming. The amount of attention required to attend to personal grooming needs is more than significant enough to cause an accident.
7) Eating and Drinking
In a fashion similar to personal grooming, it’s quite commonplace for drivers to save time by eating a meal behind the wheel. Drive-thru services at fast food restaurants and other eateries only serve to enable the risk of distracted driving. Eating or drinking requires you to take your hands off of the steering wheel and your eyes off the road, which makes it a driving distraction regardless of its seemingly harmless nature.
Some drivers find solace in the act of driving and may become lost in their thoughts. Others may find themselves “on autopilot” when driving as part of their daily routine. In either situation, the driver is not paying full attention to the road, which can only lead to danger.
9) Reaching for a Fallen Object
Reaching for fallen objects forces you to take your eyes off the road, requires you to use at least one hand, and can disorient you. If an object falls in your car while you’re driving, try to pull over to a safe stop before attempting to retrieve it.
Legal Representation – Car Accident Attorney in Tampa
Distracted driving causes thousands of deaths per year. Avoid becoming a victim of distractions by ensuring that you pay full attention to the road when driving. It could save your life or that of another. If you’ve been injured in an accident, it may not be too late to seek legal help from a car accident attorney in Tampa FL. An injury stemming from an auto accident can greatly inhibit your life in various ways. Don’t let the negligent actions of another driver continue to inhibit your ability to enjoy your life. Contact an auto accident lawyer in Tampa FL today in order to begin exploring your legal options.
Hopefully, you will never be in a position in which you need the legal services of an auto accident lawyer in Tampa FL, but in the event that you do, please give Hoag Law Firm a call or complete your online Free Case Evaluation. A free consultation from an experienced car accident attorney in Tampa FL can help you understand your rights. With honest advice and an experienced personal injury attorney in Tampa at your side, you can recover from your accident with the largest possible settlement and get back to living your life.