Have you ever suddenly realized, while driving, that you had not looked at the road in a notable amount of time? It’s jarring and frightening. It’s sort of like when you suddenly open your eyes and realize you dozed off behind the wheel. You may only have closed your eyes for a split second, but it really gets your attention.
The truth is that most people suffer from driving distractions all the time. They try to do two things at once. They try to multitask. Sometimes, it works. Other times, though, they take it too far or they do it for too long, and then it results in accidents.
The most common distraction, as you probably guessed, is just your smartphone. When cellphones first saw use in cars, this was simple: You could make a call and talk to someone else. That’s a distraction, yes, but it felt safer. Today, you can:
- Check social media
- Send a text
- Read a text
- Take a picture
- Use one of millions of apps
- Go on the Internet
- Check your email
- And much more
Your phone does everything. It’s a GPS and a clock and the way you stream music in your car. It’s a massive distraction, and it has something for everyone. Phones cause a lot of accidents.
Even so, it is not the only distraction that plays a role. Other major issues that drivers face include:
- Reaching for something on the ground or elsewhere in the car
- Talking to the children or otherwise interacting with them
- Trying to restrain pets
- Reading a map
- Looking at a crash scene
- Reading a sign or a billboard
- Adjusting the mirrors, the lights, the wipers or anything else
- Smoking a cigarette
- Changing the radio station
- Turning on the heat or the AC
- Eating a meal
- Having a drink
- Talking to friends
Your phone does replace some of these things. Maybe you do not have to change the radio station because you just stream your music through your phone. Maybe you do not have to read a map because you use the built-in GPS.
That’s fine, and it can keep you safe if you set things up before you pull into traffic. However, if you wait until you are driving and then you bring up a playlist of your favorite music or you start to look up directions on the GPS, then your phone doesn’t eliminate the distraction. It just becomes the distraction.
Avoiding all distractions is the best way to reduce your accident risks, but someone else who gets distracted could still hit you. When these car accidents lead to injuries, medical bills, lost wages and more, you need to know what options you have.