When you hear the words “distracted driver,” your mind probably pictures someone handling their phone while operating their vehicle. Whether they are sending a text, taking a photo, or answering a call, most individuals associate distracted driving with cell phones.
Although this is probably one of the most prominent reasons why motorists do become distracted while driving, there are actually three categories of driver distractions all of which contribute to making the road more dangerous and of course, causing accidents.
At the Jones Law Firm, we help people from all over Louisiana deal with the aftermath of car accidents. You may be entitled to compensation from a driver who has caused an accident by distracted driving.
But first, let’s learn about some of the reasons these accidents occur in the first place. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), these are the three types of driver distractions which must be avoided when operating your vehicle:
1. Engaging in a visual task
This could be something “as simple as checking a navigation system, which causes a driver to divert his or her attention from the road.”
Other types of visual tasks might include:
- watching your phone while it is docked in a hands-free device,
- glancing at the signs on the side of the road, or
- trying to look at an accident scene when passing it by
But the truth is, any ounce of attention you take away from the road and place on something else is bound to increase your chances of causing a collision as you reduce your reaction time if traffic has stopped or if the driver on the side of you decides to merge into your lane without warning.
2. Engaging in a manual task
A manual task would be “something that requires a driver to remove one or both hands from the steering wheel, such as reaching for a drink or cell phone.”
Anytime you are doing something with your hands other than steering the wheel of your vehicle, you put yourself at risk of losing control of it or engaging in an accident with another vehicle.
Your hands are needed to maintain control of your car and between the inclement weather, reckless drivers, etc., you need to be sure your hands aren’t occupied by anything else that could potentially reduce your time to react to an emergency.
3. Engaging in some type of behavior that interferes with your cognitive abilities
The third type of driver distraction identified by the NHTSA is engaging in tasks that interfere with your cognitive abilities.
This would be anything that causes a driver’s “mind and focus to wander to something besides the task of driving.” For instance, if you are driving after having had a fight with your significant other or after having a hectic day at work, it is likely your mind is more focused on that than it is on the road.
Unfortunately, this too contributes to distracted driving and is a known factor in many of the car crashes that have transpired in the past.
Because distracted driving was the culprit in thousands of accidents that occurred in 2015 that resulted in 391,000 injuries and 3,477 deaths, drivers in Alexandria, LA and all across the U.S. must take the initiative and refrain from engaging in any of the behaviors we outlined above.
How can I recover compensation after engaging in an accident with a distracted driver in Louisiana?
If you or a member of your family was injured in a car crash in Alexandria, LA caused by a distracted driver, contact the Jones Law Firm, to find out what your legal rights are as an accident victim.
To find out which laws apply to your case, contact Louisiana car accident lawyer Davey Jones today at 318-442-1515 to learn more.