Every day in the U.S., nine people die in car wrecks caused by distracted driving and 1,000 more are injured. A new video study may help explain why.
Although a majority of drivers think they can get away with distracted driving, it only takes one error to cause a catastrophic car accident.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has identified three major kinds of distracted driving, including: (1)
- Visual Distraction – when a driver’s eyes are drawn away from the road, even if it’s only for a few seconds.
- Manual Distraction – when a driver’s hands come off the wheel, often due to the fact that the driver is eating, applying makeup or talking on a mobile phone.
- Cognitive Distraction – when a driver’s mind wanders, affecting concentration
In other words, any activity that takes your attention away from the road falls under the category of distracted driving. And when your focus is not on the road, it is much more difficult for you to make adjustments or take evasive action when something unexpected happens.
But it’s one thing to talk about the dangers of distracted driving, and quite another to see the dangers in live action.
That was the goal of recent major study of nearly 2,000 drivers, who agreed to allow researchers to videotape their behavior behind the wheel.
The results were eye opening, and could help government safety agencies develop better methods of educating the public about the dangers of distracted driving.
Distracted Driving Study Stats Sheds New Light
The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute recently completed research analyzing 1,600 drivers whose vehicles were equipped with video cameras, sensors and radar for one to two years.
The distracted driving study sheds new light on how drivers behave behind the wheel on a daily basis.
One of the first things researchers noticed is that it took very little time for drivers in the study to become used to the video cameras in their vehicles.
But more importantly, the results were quite surprising, with 1,600 “crash events” occurring during the two years of the study, including cars hitting curbs, and personal injury accidents. (2)
Half of those crash events were “higher-severity” accidents, which are accidents that caused some type of injury.
And in those crashes, a staggering 50 percent were the result of some type of distracted driving.
In fact, the study found that the likelihood of a car accident doubled when drivers took their eyes off the road and used a handheld cell phone, were reading or writing, or using touch screen menus.”
Video cameras showed drivers engaged in many types of distracted driving activities such as turning the radio or searching for a playlist on their mobile devices.
What Happens When You Drive Distracted?
While it’s clear that many drivers lose focus on the road because of other activities, the question is: What happens when you drive distracted?
In other words, what goes on inside your mind that makes distracted driving so dangerous?
According to MLive.com, the notion that the brain can multi-task is not accurate. (3)
Most drivers believe that they can operate their vehicle and talk on the phone without any loss of focus, but research has shown that the brain is not equipped to perform two tasks simultaneously.
So instead of being able to accomplish two things equally well at the same time, the brain actually shuttles between those tasks, focusing exclusively on each task within that millisecond.
As a result, your brain may not be able to react in time to an unexpected occurrence on the road, robbing you of precious seconds to avert a car wreck.
So you have to stop thinking that your brain can handle multiple tasks at the same without a significant risk that something will go wrong.
“We know that distracted driving continues to be a major contributor of car crashes,” stated Dallas Personal Injury / Accident Attorney Amy Witherite, partner at Eberstein Witherite, LLP. “If more people could see the video studies of distracted drivers, it could really help drive home the fact that these behaviors we’ve come to accept as normal are actually very dangerous.”
What Is Your Car Accident Injury Claim Worth?
There were nearly 400,000 distracted driving injury accidents in 2015, so the problem continues to affect the wellbeing of drivers on the road. If you’ve suffered an injury caused by a distracted driver, you may be wondering what your car accident injury claim is worth.
In most instances, your claim will involve economic damages from loss of work and property damage, and pain and suffering for your emotional and physical distress.
The experienced team at 1-800-Car-Wreck® knows exactly how to obtain the evidence required to work your case. We have handled many of these cases, and our job is not only to negotiate a fair settlement, but also to ensure that we keep life running for you and your family.
Eberstein Witherite, LLP
Email: [email protected]