When behind the wheel, a driver should primarily focus on the task at hand, which is the safe operation of his or her vehicle. Unfortunately, many drivers do not take safe driving seriously, choosing to engage in distracting behaviors. This includes eating, drinking, using a phone, talking with a passenger and doing anything else that can take one’s attention away from the road. Distracted driving in any form is dangerous and reckless, as well as completely preventable.
Many drivers falsely believe they can safely drive and look at their phones, but this is simply not true. Even a second of distraction significantly increases the chance of an accident, and it needlessly endangers everyone else on the road. Distraction is one of the leading causes of car accidents and one of the primary safety concerns for all Tennessee drivers.
The risks of unfocused driving
There are different ways that distraction affects the mind and body of a driver. While everyone is different, distraction is never safe. The three main types of distraction and their impact include the following:
- Manual — Any time a driver removes one or two hands from the wheel, such as when reaching for a phone, lifting a cup of coffee or adjusting the radio, it can be dangerously distracting.
- Visual — This type of distraction happens any time a driver removes his or her eyes from the wheel, such as to read a text, look at a billboard, take a bite of food or turn to look at a passenger.
- Cognitive — This is when a driver’s mind is on other things, such as listening to the radio, reading a text, daydreaming or even speaking with a passenger. This can occur even with two hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.
Cell phones are particularly dangerous because they often cause multiple or all types of distraction at the same time.
The blame for distraction-related accidents
The civil justice system provides you the opportunity to hold a distracted driver accountable for the harm caused to you and your loved ones in an accident. Through a claim, you can seek compensation for your losses, including property damage expenses and medical needs. After your accident, you may find it helpful to seek an assessment of your case with a knowledgeable professional to better understand the legal options available to you.