Are You a Distracted Driver?

man-talking-on-the-cell-phone-312490-mDistracted driver – what’s that?

A distracted driver is anyone doing something that takes his/her attention away from their safe driving. These activities could include:
using a cell phone, smartphone or tablet
reading, typing or sending texts,
reading, typing or sending emails,
drinking or eating,
general grooming – combing hair, putting on make-up, etc.,
talking to their passenger/s,
reading, looking at maps,
using a GPS / SAT NAV system,
tuning/fiddling with the radio, CD, MP3 or video player,
looking at things outside the car – events, the scenery or people/animals along the roadway.

Texting is by far the most dangerous of these distractions because it requires your cognitive attention as well as manual and visual involvement.

A Few Facts

While texting, you spend approx 5 seconds with your eyes off the road. If you are traveling at 55 mph (88.5 km) you will cover 100 yards (91.44m) or the length of an American football field blindfolded!

In 2012, in the US, there were 3328 deaths and 421,000 (estimated) people injured in crashes involving distracted driving.

Twenty-seven percent of the distracted drivers involved in fatal crashes are in their 20’s.

At any point in time, during daylight hours, in the US, approx 660,000 drivers are using their electronic devices, including cell phones, while they’re driving.

Doing subtasks like rummaging around getting the phone, dialing the number, texting, or any of the other things associated with electronic devices increases your risk of being in a crash 3 fold.

Hands-free cell phones (headset use) do not significantly reduce your risks, according to researchers in the US.

In a comparison study conducted by Car and Driver Magazine, they tested their editor’s response rates while operating a car as a distracted driver. The car was rigged so that a red light came on to alert the driver that he needed to brake. They tested the driver under 4 different conditions. It took:

0.54 seconds to brake when un-distracted
4 extra feet were required when the driver was legally drunk (at 0.08 BAC limit)
36 extra feet were required when the driver was reading an email
70 extra feet were required when the driver was sending a text

Responding to the need to brake took 4 times longer when the driver was emailing.

So, we ask the question is driving while using electronic devices worse (more dangerous) than driving while under the influence? The answer is DEFINITELY YES!

It is so often our attitudes that make the situation much worse. Americans view driving while drinking as bad or wrong but they don’t see texting or emailing while driving in the same way. With a population of
317,874,628 as of April 2014, America has 327,577,529 cell phones in use. That is a scary prospect for everyone driving or walking along or across the roads.

While the Dept. of Transportation doesn’t have the jurisdiction to ban outright the use of electronic devices while people are driving, many states have done so or are in the process of doing so.
If you are the victim of one of those 660,000 people on their cell phones right now as they are driving and your life is turned upside down, even though it is after the fact, contact the people who specialize in dealing with car accident injuries at the Ryder Law Firm for help. Let Brad and his team make the difference in how your case, and your life, turns out.

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