Distracted Driving: Actions and Consequences

Injury Attorneys | Restoring LivesTM

July 31, 2017 | Auto Accidents |


When we first learn how to drive, we’re told to always keep our eyes on the road and to watch what other people are doing. As we get more comfortable behind the wheel after years of practice, however, our priorities and attention shift. We think we can get away with a text message or looking down for just a moment to adjust the air conditioner.

Unfortunately, it is not that simple.

Distracted Driving Is Dangerous

Anything you do behind the wheel of a car that takes your mind or eyes off the road or your hands off the wheel is considered distracted driving. Keep in mind that any one of those three types of distractions can be considered a distracted driver.

Did you know it takes three seconds to fully shift your attention back to your primary task after a distraction? It might not seem like much, but when you’re traveling at high speeds or need to anticipate what others are doing on the road, those seconds are everything.

Any of these activities can count as distracted driving:

  • Eating or drinking
  • Reaching for or interacting with something in the car—an electronic device, a cigarette, or an animal, for instance
  • Talking to other passengers in the car
  • Being distracted by something outside of the car, such as nature or an accident
  • Personal grooming (such as applying makeup, brushing your hair, or flossing)
  • Changing the controls on the radio, air conditioner, or other settings in the car
  • Setting or resetting a navigation system
  • Being mentally or emotionally distracted by a stressful job, your home life, etc.
  • Using your cell phone for any reason—talking, texting, taking pictures, accessing the Internet, navigating, reading, watching videos, or listening to music

The Consequences of Distracted Driving

Drivers are concerned about behaviors that make them feel unsafe on the road, and distracted driving is one of those issues. Now that cell phones are a part of nearly everyone’s daily life, though, it’s harder to avoid distractions. As many as 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or other electronic devices at any moment in daylight; this is a very serious problem. When you consider that it takes an average of five seconds to read or respond to a text message and that this is enough time to travel the length of a football field, it’s no wonder the risk of distracted driving accidents is so high.

When your eyes are off of the road and your attention is somewhere other than on what you’re doing in the car, you’re more likely to get into an accident. You can’t see where you’re going or what other people are doing and react to it in time while you’re distracted.

In 2015 alone, car crashes that involved distracted drivers killed 3,477 people and injured an additional 391,000 more. Distractions are deadly and preventable. You are not as good at multitasking as you think you are, and why take the chance when so many lives are on the line?

There are so many dangers on the road already. Why add distracted driving to the list? You, your passengers, other motorists, and pedestrians rely on you to be fully engaged in driving while you’re on the road in order to protect their lives. A few seconds can mean can change someone’s life forever, and you can prevent it by staying diligent. Looking at the road is your most important job as a driver. Wait until it’s safe to pull over to do whatever else you need to.

Contact an Automobile Accident Attorney Today

If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of a car accident, you are urged to contact the Indianapolis Automobile Accident Attorneys of Wilson Kehoe Winingham. The lawyers at WKW can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call 317.920.6400 or fill out an online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

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