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Why is distracted driving so dangerous?

On Behalf of | Mar 8, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of road accidents because it consistently poses a significant threat to the safety of drivers, passengers and pedestrians. It’s up to every driver to ensure they’re operating their vehicle safely, which is impossible if a driver is distracted.

This dangerous behavior encompasses any activity that diverts attention from driving. Understanding the basics of distracted driving may help drivers to avoid these actions. It may also provide critical information for anyone who’s struck by a distracted driver.

Cognitive distractions

One of the most problematic forms of distracted driving is cognitive distraction. It occurs when a driver can’t focus their mind fully on driving. Conversations with passengers, daydreaming or being preoccupied with personal, family or work-related issues can significantly decrease driving performance.

Physical distractions

Physical distractions involve any activity that causes you to take one or both hands off the wheel. Some examples of this include eating, adjusting the GPS or changing the radio station. Parents who have children in the vehicle may also succumb to physical distractions if they have to reach for something the children need.

Visual distractions

Visual distractions, on the other hand, cause you to take your eyes off the road. Texting while driving is a prevalent example of this, but it’s one that also involves physical and cognitive distraction. Even looking at billboards on the side of the road qualifies as a visual distraction.

The consequences of distracted driving

The consequences of distracted driving can be severe, ranging from minor vehicle damage to serious injury or even death. Victims of these crashes will likely need medical care and may have lifelong impacts from the injuries. Necessary care can quickly become costly, especially if there’s a catastrophic injury, like one to the spinal cord or brain.

Victims of another driver’s negligence may opt to pursue a compensation claim to help cover their expenses. A personal injury claim in Washington must be filed quickly because there’s a statute of limitations that is strictly enforced. Seeking assistance from a legal representative who can outline a plan, explain possible outcomes and streamline the process can reduce stress for victims.