Many modern jobs require that people multitask or manage multiple different physical and mental tasks at the same time. Given that people feel comfortable multitasking at work, they might also think that they can multitask at the wheel.
Unfortunately, according to information gathered by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), a distraction lasting more than 2 seconds can be all it takes to increase the risk of a crash. Additionally, many government studies as well as medical authorities such as the “American Journal of Public Health” and the “New England Journal of Medicine” have concluded that collisions due to distracted driving are on the increase and that this trend presents a growing public health hazard.
Although mobile phones are commonly blamed for distracted driving, distraction can also come from the control panel of a vehicle, a Bluetooth conversation, eating and drinking at the wheel or even other people in the vehicle. Any form of distraction could cause several issues that increase risk of a collision.
Distraction keeps you from noticing and quickly responding to changes
Many people think that if they just look down at their phone for a few seconds, they won’t have any real issues as a result. However, they could come around a curve to find that traffic has stopped due to a collision up ahead. That driver may not be able to stop in time because they weren’t watching the road.
Drivers doing something else often drift on the road
The lack of attention that distraction causes is dangerous on its own, but it often combines with drifting to create truly dangerous situations. Drivers may take their hands off the wheel to eat, change the radio station or touch their phone, leading to the vehicle slowly moving to either side. Even if the driver maintains one hand on the wheel, they may not adequately adjust for shifts in the road, meaning that they could swerve or drift out of their lane, drastically increasing the potential for a collision.
Anyone who gets hurt by a distracted driver should consider their legal rights to hold that driver accountable for the injuries and property damage their irresponsible actions caused.