Elements of a Distracted Driving Accidents

Intoxicated driving and distracted driving are leading causes of motor vehicle accidents, both minor and severe, all across the country. We understand that drinking alcohol slows down motor reflexes, clouds cognitive thinking, and muddles our senses, and this is why drunk driving is so likely to cause a crash. But why is distracted driving such a hazard? All our lives, we are told to learn how to multitask, so why does it not work when behind the wheel?

Multitasking is a Myth, Says NSC

One of the safety groups leading the charge to stop distracted driving for good is the National Safety Council (NSC). It has conducted paper after paper of research regarding the causes of distracted driving, its consequences, and how to make people aware of its dangers. (You can click here to be taken to the group’s official website listing of just some of its work.) Within one of its research studies, the NSC tackled the concept of multitasking and how it was playing a significant role in distracted driving.

The NSC concluded that multitasking as a whole is a myth, albeit a popular one. According to the NSC findings, the human brain does not multitask, but juggles multiple areas of focus rapidly instead. For example, someone who is watching a television show and talking on the phone is not balancing the two actions harmoniously, but rather they are switching quickly between what they are thinking about. When put into the context of distracted driving, it is clear to see how picking up a smartphone to read a text message is so dangerous.

Three Distinct Forms of Driver Distraction

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has conducted its own work on distracted driving in hopes to help prevent more car accidents each year. It deduced that nearly-all types of distractions a driver can encounter can be sorted into three umbrella categories.

The three main types of driver distraction the CDC has outlined are:

  1. Visual distractions that take the driver’s eyes off the road and mirrors.
  2. Manual distractions that take the driver’s hands off the wheel, clutch, or gear shift.
  3. Cognitive distractions that take the driver’s minds off the task driving safely.

Picking up and using a smartphone is highly dangerous and the root of a large percentage of all distracted driving accidents because it engages the driver in all three forms of distraction at once. Even the hasty act of checking a text message requires at least one hand to come off the steering wheel, removes the driver’s line of sight from the road, and entirely removes their thought process from driving. Additionally, the NSC has concluded that cognitive distractions last 30 seconds on average, meaning a driver will still be thinking about a text they read for half a minute longer after putting the phone away.

Sacramento Distracted Driving Accident Attorneys Hearing Your Claims

Have you been hit by a distracted driver and suffered a serious injury as a result? You have the right to seek compensation, but there is nothing to guarantee your pursuit of justice and damages will be simple or uncontested. Empower your claim and increase your chances of success by working with Del Rio & Caraway, P.C. and our car accident attorneys in Sacramento. Through our continued efforts and years of experience, we have managed to recover millions of dollars for our clients following positive case results. See what we can do for you by contacting Del Rio & Caraway, P.C. today.