As a personal injury law firm, we regularly see cases involving auto accidents caused by distracted driving. Below are five of the most common distractions that lead to vehicle collisions in Missouri.
Using a handheld phone in the car is widely recognized as one of today’s most dangerous forms of distracted driving. Many states, Missouri included, have enacted laws either restricting or prohibiting handheld cellphone use on the roads. Some studies have found that talking on a handheld phone can cause the same delays in reaction time as driving under the influence of alcohol.
However, did you know that studies have found that there are almost no differences in accident rates involving handheld and hands-free phones? The American Automobile Association (AAA) released findings in 2013 and 2014 that found that handheld calling was only slightly more dangerous than hands-free phone use. It even concluded that voice-control systems, “may have unintended consequences that adversely affect traffic safety.”
Texting behind the wheel is extremely dangerous and should be avoided. Sending emails, tweeting, posting on Instagram, and updating your Facebook status all fall into this same category. These activities take your eyes and your mind off of the road in front of you. It only takes a split second for something to go wrong, and if you are looking at your phone, you are going to miss it. If you need to send a text, wait until you arrive at your destination or pull over at a safe spot on the side of the road.
Today’s cars have more built-in distractions than ever before. GPS systems, music libraries, touch screens, alerts, heads-up displays, and custom settings are all great features, but they are also potential distractions. You should never let your car’s additional features get in the way of its primary purpose of getting you safely to your destination. Type in your destination and select your playlist before you shift into drive, and keep your use of in-car technology to a minimum while out on the road.
Of course, driving distractions existed well before the advent of mobile devices and in-car technology. One of the most prevalent distractions among all drivers is the presence of passengers in the vehicle. When driving with passengers, be sure to stay focused on your surroundings, and avoid engaging in anything other than conversation. Young children and backseat passengers can be particularly distracting when it comes to taking your eyes off the road.
Kevin Roach is a St. Louis auto accident attorney who represents injury victims in personal injury settlements and litigation. He has helped numerous clients obtain financial compensation for their losses. To schedule your free case evaluation, call (866) 519-0085 or contact Kevin online today.