Are you a good driver? Are you sure? April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, giving you a great opportunity to reflect on your driving habits and start making changes that will help keep you and everyone else on the road safe.
We all think we’re good drivers. But how good are we really? This question can become uncomfortable when we reflect on the three types of distracted driving:
- Cognitive. Found to be just as dangerous as driving drunk, cognitive distraction refers to anything you are thinking about that does not have to do with driving. Perhaps more simply put as “inattention,” this is the most common – and most dangerous – type of distraction
- Visual. Visual distraction includes anything that takes your eyes off of the road. Cellphone use, adjusting GPS, and searching for a dropped item are all forms of visual distraction
- Manual. Anything you are doing with your hands that is not directly related to the operation of the vehicle (steering wheel, turn signals, windshield wipers, etc.) is a form of manual distraction. Eating and drinking, personal grooming, even “drumming” on your steering wheel are all forms of manual distraction
All types of distraction are cognitive. Not all types of distraction are visual or manual, but adding either of those to cognitive distraction significantly increases the risk of causing an auto accident.
There are around 700 distracted driving accidents every day in the United States. More than 400,000 people are injured in these accidents every year. Thousands more die. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that distracted driving is a factor in nearly 10% of all fatal car accidents. It remains the leading cause of car accidents, both nationally and in New Jersey.
The best way to avoid causing a distracted driving accident is to avoid driving distracted. Pay attention to the road. Turn your cellphone off. Don’t assume hands-free electronics are safer (they’re not) – instead, opt to give your full attention to the task of driving.
But remember, even if you pay the fullest attention to the road, you may not be able to avoid being injured in an accident caused by someone who is not – and in these cases, you want a lawyer on your side as soon as possible to help ensure you are not cheated out of fair compensation. Please call the Englishtown office of Shapiro & Sternlieb at 732-617-8050 to schedule a free consultation and learn how we can help.