What is the Definition of Distracted Driving | Halvorsen Klote

What is the definition of distracted driving and its Negative Impact?

What Do You Do If You're Hit By A Distracted Driver?

Smartphones, cell phones, and tablets are part of everyday life, and it seems every person has one or more of these items. The number of people who use cell phones in the United States grew nearly 7 times from 1996 to 2009, rising from 40 million in 1996 to 276 million cell phone users in 2009. Now, in 2016, 92% of American adults own a cellphone, including 67% who own a smartphone.

About 1 out of 9 people die, and more than 1,000 people are injured every single day in collisions stemming from distracted driving, according to the National Safety Council.

woman driver uses mobile phone

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There Are Many Causes Of Distracted Driving Car Accidents

Mobile applications, texting, and talking are among the most common distractions.

Software companies are putting more and more mobile applications on the market every day that can range from entertainment to GPS satellite services to keeping track of business meetings. Therefore, such mobile applications can only add to the potential to become distracted while driving, in addition to just handling a phone call or texting while driving.

A school bus driver, checking his e-mail or Facebook account while driving; a truck driver checking the score of a game; or a driver using a rideshare mobile application such as Uber or Lyft may all potentially be hazardous distracted drivers. Moreover, some of these drivers are using their cell phones for work-related purposes, making their employer potentially liable for the collision as well.

Slower Reaction Times

Drivers who use cell phones also have slower reaction times and more accidents than drivers who are legally drunk.

A collision can happen in a matter of seconds, yet according to this study, a driver can be distracted for an average of 27 seconds “after drivers put down the phone or stop fiddling with the navigation system.” Even hands-free systems or devices installed in some cars do not provide much help, as a recent study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety shows that drivers are still distracted while using such systems. Moreover, another recent AAA Foundation study showed that teen drivers were distracted almost 25% of the total time they were behind the wheel.

distracted driving

Thus, when it comes to driving, electronic devices can become dangerous to those around us when they cause a focused, safe driver to become distracted. Based on the statistics, distracted driving is a growing hazard:

  • In 2013, 10% of all drivers in fatal crashes, from the age of 15 to 19 years old, involved distracted drivers.
  • In 2014, there were 3,179 people killed as a result of motor vehicle accidents involving distracted drivers. Also, there were some 431,000 more people injured in these types of incidents in the same year.
  • A surprising 660,000 number of vehicles are being driven by a person using a cell phone.

Definition of Distracted Driving and Its Dangers

What is the definition of distracted driving? Distracted driving is any activity that diverts attention from the primary task of driving. This includes cognitive distractions (taking your mind off driving), manual distractions (taking your hands off the wheel), and visual distractions (taking your eyes off the road). Text messages, navigation systems, and other electronic devices can significantly increase the risk of accidents.

Distracted Driving Laws and Safe Driving Practices

To combat the dangers of distracted driving, many states have enacted distracted driving laws. These laws prohibit or limit the use of hand-held devices while driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) emphasizes the importance of safe driving practices and awareness campaigns to educate drivers about the risks associated with distracted driving. It's crucial for all drivers, especially teen drivers, to understand the severe consequences of taking their eyes off the road, even for a few seconds.

Consult An Attorney

The lawyers at Halvorsen Klote take a personal interest in every case that comes into the office. If you are looking for an attorney that will give you undivided individual attention, commitment to excellence, and use every possible resource available to help you win your case, then please contact our firm directly for a free consultation at 1-877-51-HKLAW (877-514-5529) or by filling out our contact form. There is no fee unless we win your case.

By staying informed about the hazards of distracted driving and adhering to distracted driving laws, we can contribute to safer roads and reduce the number of fatal crashes and injuries. Remember, understanding what is the definition of distracted driving and its implications can save lives.