Did you know that the five seconds that you take your eyes off the road to read a text message while driving 55 mph is equivalent to driving the length of a football field while blindfolded?
Distracted driving is a real problem—not just in Illinois, but throughout the country. People are so used to multi-tasking all day that they have a hard time sitting down to focus on the road while they are driving. The result? Over 420,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver in 2012 (the year with the most recent data).
The most obvious forms of distracted driving involve the use of cellphones while operating a motor vehicle. This could mean talking on the phone, sending or receiving text messages, composing an e-mail, or checking Facebook notifications. These types of distractions are extremely dangerous, and have led to several hands-free device laws being passed. However, there are also other types of distracted driving. In addition to putting down the cellphone while you're concentrating on the road, consider these other ways that drivers get distracted:
- Putting an address into a GPS navigation system
- Changing the station on the radio or finding a song on your MP3 player
- Breaking up a fight between the kids in the back seat
- Trying to apply makeup on the way to work
- Eating fast food in the car on the way to an appointment
- Chatting it up with a car full of friends
Some types of distractions may be hard to avoid, like screaming children or talking to passengers in the car, but it is still important that you always stay as aware as possible while behind the wheel. Your life—and the lives of others—depends on it.
Polinske & Associates is an Edwardsville car accident law firm that provides legal representation and advice to people hurt by the negligence of others in Illinois traffic accidents of all kinds, including distracted-driving crashes. We strongly support campaigns to increase awareness of the distracted driving problem.
Many people do not realize how many different ways a driver can be distracted. Please share this article on Facebook and help educate other drivers.