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Full Attention is of Utmost Importance When You’re Behind the Wheel

No matter what brand and model of car you drive, only one thing is necessary as soon as you sit behind the wheel – your undivided attention on the road. Direct that attention to something else and you may end up causing a tragic road accident.

Records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that distracted driving is one of the top causes of car crashes in the U.S. With it are driving over the speed limit (and sometimes driving too slow along major roads), reckless driving and drunk-driving.

Alcohol impairs a driver; scientific studies have consistently declared and proven this. So too does distracted driving, though the impairment it causes is of a different kind. While alcohol makes a driver’s reflexes weaker, causing him/her to fail to steer hard enough to stay clear of danger, distracted driving can cause a driver to fail to react on time to avoid danger or to steer the wheel much more than necessary, directing his/her car where it should not be.

Driving always requires a driver’s undivided attention to enable him/her to safely control his/her vehicle, as well as veer it away from anything that may cause an accident. Anything that will take away your focus on the road is a distraction – a major contributory factor to car accidents.

Despite being aware that any form of distraction compromises everyone’s safety, many drivers confess to being distracted. Records from both the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the (NHTSA) show that individuals aged between 15 and 24 are the ones with the greatest tendency to get involved in accidents due to distracted driving.

The many faults seen in teen drivers are blamed on juvenile behavior and driver inexperience. Due to this 47 states have resorted to using the graduated driver licensing (GDL) system, a program intended to delay full licensure to beginners, while simultaneously letting them have their primary experience under less dangerous conditions.

The three major types of driving distractions identified by authorities include:

  • visual – involves taking one’s eyes off the road
  • manual – when one takes his/her hands off the wheel
  • cognitive – this happens when the driver’s mind wanders off

Specifically, these distractions include chatting with friends, cell phone use, texting, playing DJ, eating, playing your favorite tunes full blast, toying with the controls, putting on makeup or brushing your hair while driving, driving angry, reading maps or directions, using in-vehicle technologies or navigation systems, eating, drinking, smoking, lighting a cigarette, reaching for something from the back seat, playing with a child, getting distracted by a pet, and so forth. Many drivers do not even consider these as distractions any longer, especially those who have converted their car or vehicle into a personal room on wheels.

Whatever the type of distraction is, the fact remains that distracted driving is an act of negligence; an act the liable party will have to face and take responsibility for, especially if his or her act results to an accident and injures someone. As explained by West Palm Beach car accident lawyers at Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller & Overbeck, P.A., “a lapse in attention for just a few seconds is all it takes to lose control of a vehicle and subsequently cause an accident. Paying full attention to the road and your surroundings is of utmost importance when you’re behind the wheel.” Thus, those who get injured in an accident due to someone else’s negligence or carelessness, “should not hesitate to reach out to a personal injury attorney for legal help.”

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