If you were asked to define distracted driving you may reply with an answer close to “not paying attention” or “doing something else why driving.” Both of these answers would be right. However, they do not dive deep enough into what distraction truly is and why it is so dangerous while driving. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are actually three types of distractions: visual, manual, and cognitive. This means you can be distracted while behind the wheel in several different ways. Each of these distractions increases the likelihood of an accident, while together, they put you and other drivers in serious danger.
If you were injured in a collision and you believe the at-fault driver was distracted in some way, contact the Wisconsin car accident lawyers of Studinski Law, LLC. We understand the hazards of distracted driving and how to gather evidence of the other driver’s visual, manual, or cognitive distraction for your personal injury claim. Call us today at (715) 343-2850 to find out how we can help you.
With the popularity of mobile phones, texting, and apps, it can be incredibly hard to put your phone down and ignore it while you drive. You may hear notifications while you drive and think you will just glance at it for a second. However, consider what actually occurs while you use a cell phone while driving and are visually distracted, which can end in a texting and driving accident.
The average time your eyes are off the road to look at a cell phone is five seconds. That seems like a brief period of time until you consider how fast you and other vehicles are moving. In five seconds, a vehicle moving 55 mph can travel the length of a football field. Even if you are moving at a slower speed like 35 mph, you could come upon another vehicle or a stop light in half the time it takes you to look down. In those few seconds, you could hit someone, causing serious injuries and fatalities.
You may think you not driving distracted if you keep your eyes on the road. But are your hands on the wheel? If you try to multitask while driving and your hands are doing anything other than controlling the steering wheel or shifting gears, then you are manually distracted. If your eyes are off the road for five seconds to glance at your phone, your hands are likely off the wheel much longer to swipe through your phone or type out of a text. If does not matter how fast you text, one or both of your hands could be off the steering wheel so long that you are not capable of performing a maneuver when you need to, leading to a crash.
Manual distraction can also lead to over-corrections, which increases the likelihood of an accident. Consider this scenario:
You keep your left hand loosely on the wheel while your right-hand reaches over and picks up your phone. You glance back and forth between the road and your phone while you read your friend’s text and begin to tap out a reply. Now imagine that when you look back to the road you see the car in front of you slam on its brakes. You instinctually do the same, drop your phone, and throw your right hand back on the steering wheel as you jerk it to the left. Unfortunately, because you were not prepared, you over-correct and swerve into another lane of traffic, side swiping another car. If both your eyes and hands had been better prepared, you could have avoided this multi-vehicle crash altogether by stopping sooner and not over steering.
The truth is that even with your eyes on the road and hands on the steering wheel, your mind might not be where it belongs. Your thoughts may wander to what you will make for dinner or how you will handle a difficult situation at work. When your thoughts are not on the road and driving, you are cognitively distracted. It is easy to assume you can drive on auto pilot. However, driving takes active concentration. When your mind wanders to another topic or you try to do something else like text or email, the areas of your brain that are necessary to operate a vehicle safely are not as active as they should be. This increases the likelihood of your being part of an accident.
Unfortunately, distracted driving is on the rise. It kills thousands of people every year and injures much more. Distracted driving accidents lead to more injuries than drunk driving. If you were injured in a distracted driving accident, you deserve to hold the at-fault driver responsible for their careless behavior. At Studinski Law, LLC, we will thoroughly investigate the crash and gather evidence as to the other driver’s distraction, whether it was related to a cell phone or something else. We will then use this evidence to pursue compensation through a personal injury insurance claim or lawsuit. To learn more about how we can help you, call us today at (715) 343-2850.