We live in a fast-paced society where multitasking has become the norm. Unfortunately, many drivers take their multitasking behavior onto the road, often with dire results. Driving is an activity that requires focus and concentration. Anything that interrupts that concentration is a distraction and causes the driver to lose that essential focus. Even a few seconds of distraction can cause a crash, and distracted driving has become a primary cause of highway injuries and fatalities in Nevada and the nation. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) compiles data on highway accidents and their causes. The agency reported that in 2012, 3,328 people died in distracted driving accidents and approximately 421,000 people were injured in crashes involving distracted drivers, up nine percent from the approximately 387,000 people injured in this type of accident 2011. This likely reflects the ever-increasing number of electronic devices now being used in cars.
Categories of Driving Distractions
The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) recognizes four types of distractions: visual, auditory, manual, and cognitive:
• A visual distraction is something that causes the driver to look away from the road.
• An auditory distraction is sound-related, involving listening to something unrelated to driving.
• A manual distraction involves manipulating or reaching for something, causing the driver to remove hands from the steering wheel.
• A cognitive distraction is thinking about something besides driving.
Common Types of Driving Distractions
These are some of the most frequent types of distractions that cause drivers to crash:
- Sending or reading text messages
- Looking at accidents or law enforcement activity on the road (rubbernecking)
- Interacting with passengers
- Dealing with children or unrestrained pets
- Changing the station or adjusting the volume on the radio
- Setting the GPS system
- Eating or drinking,
- Conversing on a cellular phone
- Using an app on a Smartphone
- Using an MP3 or CD player
- Applying makeup or styling hair
- Reading a map, brochure, or written directions
- Watching videos
Research Findings: Texting is the Worst Type of Distraction
Of all these types of distraction, texting is the most dangerous. It involves three of the four categories of distraction: visual, manual, and cognitive. Studies have shown that the majority of Americans would rather send a text message than make a phone call! A study at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found that a person reading or sending a text message is a staggering 23 times more likely to be in a crash.
The Texas Transportation Institute at Texas A&M University conducted a study using actual cars on a track, rather than a simulator, to test the affect of texting on driver reaction time. The result? Reaction times were more than four seconds slower when a driver was sending or reading a text message. Furthermore, texting drivers were ten times more likely to miss a signal lights and were not able to maintain a consistent speed.
Driver Distraction is Driver Negligence
A distracted driver is a negligent driver. Distracted driving kills and maims unnecessarily. It can be prevented. Everyone who gets behind the wheel of a car is responsible for taking all reasonable precautions to avoid any action or behavior that can bring harm to others. This means staying focused on the road and avoiding any type of distraction while driving. Grooming and eating should be done at home, electronic settings should be made before the car begins to move, children and pets should be restrained, and handheld devices should be turned off and put in the glove compartment.
Help When a Distracted Driver Has Turned Your Life Upside Down
When you’ve incurred a serious injury in a Nevada accident caused by a distracted driver, or if a close family member has died because of another driver’s distraction on the road, you are eligible to make a claim against that driver to recover compensation for damages that resulted from the crash. You will need a highly experienced personal injury attorney advocating for you if you hope to receive a settlement award or verdict large enough to compensate you for all your economic and non-economic (quality-of-life) damages.
One of the most highly-regarded personal injury attorneys in Las Vegas is Eric Woods, who has more than 30 years of experience practicing personal injury law. Eric and his team will investigate the circumstance of the accident, gathering evidence to prove that the distracted driver was responsible for your damages. If the case requires, he’ll bring traffic safety engineers and accident reconstruction experts on board to support your claim and prove liability. He’ll gather your medical records, employment records, and bills to prove the seriousness of your injuries and the extent of your losses. He’ll make a case for compensation for the following economic and non-economic damages, among others:
- lost earnings
- medical expenses
- cost of rehabilitation
- the cost of household help
- other out-of-pocket expenses
- pain and suffering
- emotional anguish
- loss of enjoyment of life
If you or a family member suffered injuries attributable to another driver’s distraction or any type of driver negligence, call the Las Vegas office of attorney Eric Woods to schedule a free consultation. Eric accepts accident cases on a contingency fee arrangement. This means you pay nothing unless you receive money for your accident. This gives everyone who has been injured equal access to top quality legal representation in their quest for justice.
Nevada places time limits on filing your claim, so don’t wait; call Eric Woods today.