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Common causes of distracted driving and their levels of risk

On Behalf of | Feb 7, 2018 | Car Accidents

Driving is probably something that you have to do every day, multiple times a day. For instance, you most likely have a round-trip commute to your job in Belleville and you may run errands after work or on the weekend.

Since you spend so much time in your car, the chances are good that you have either already been in a car accident or had a few close calls. One of the main contributing factors to many car wrecks and near misses is distracted driving.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety conducted a study that pinpointed certain activities that cause distractions and the level of risk for each. Not only will knowing about these distractions help you avoid them, it will help you be more aware of other drivers that might be distracted.

Minimal risk

According to AAA, some distractions only have a minimal risk, such as listening to the radio or books on tape. In most cases, drivers will adjust radio settings before even pulling out of the driveway or parking lot. The study suggests that driver who simply listen to music during their commutes are at a low risk of becoming involved in an accident due to this particular distraction. Furthermore, while listening to a book on tape causes a slightly more distracted state, it is still not cause for alarm.

Moderate risk

Talking to a passenger or using the cellphone, either hands-free or hands-on, made it into the moderate risk level of AAA’s study. It seems that the act of talking and mentally focusing on a subject other than driving is enough to put drivers at moderate risk of having a car accident.

Extensive risk

Since the risk of using hand-held devices has become apparent, leading to serious consequences, car manufacturers and cellphone producers have developed speech-to-text systems. This allows drivers to give commands that translate into text. Not only can you send a voice-to-text message to your sister to tell her that you are running late to meet her for lunch, but you might be able to update your social media status or complete other tasks as well.

While the intention behind the development of these features was to reduce distracted driving, according to AAA’s study, it has had the opposite effect. The concentration it takes to use this technology can actually lead to tunnel vision and inattention to the road, and easily lead to a wreck.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of a car accident with a distracted driver, you might be able to file a claim for damages. You should not have to pay the financial costs of your injuries in addition to suffering through the physical pain due to someone else’s negligence.