What Causes Distracted Driving? A Resource for Las Vegas Residents

The National Safety Council reports that in 2019, 3,142 people died in automobile crashes in which distraction was a factor. Needless to say, there are likely many more cases in which accidents resulted in personal injury to those involved. Read on to learn about some of the most common causes of distracted driving.

Talking and Texting While Driving

In the past decade, the use of cell phones while driving has become a larger and larger concern.  Reports from the National Safety Council indicate that in 2019 approximately 8.8% of drivers were using some type of phone, be it hand-held or hands-free. Every second a driver diverts their eyes from their surroundings to attend to a phone or electronic device, the chances of an accident and subsequent personal injury escalate significantly.  

The recent rise of hands-free communication devices in automobiles may be heralded by some as the answer to the nation’s distracted driving problem, but experts warn that the situation is more complex. While hands-free devices such as Bluetooth headsets and car dashboard infotainment systems allow us to keep our eyes on the road, our attention nevertheless is still focused on the phone call or instructions we are giving to the system. This reduces our overcall cognitive capacity for focusing on our surroundings, which can lead to reduced reaction times.  A few seconds can mean the difference between averting an accident or having to contact a personal injury attorney.

Engaging With Passengers

When drivers have to talk or interact with other passengers in the vehicle, it can take away from the attention needed to safely operate the vehicle. Turning to attend to children or other inhabitants may feel like a natural maneuver and rationalized as safe as long as it is only for a few seconds, but as previously discussed every second counts behind the wheel and personal injury risk is heightened with every distraction.

Many drivers assume that as long as they are keeping their eyes on the road, conversations with passengers are alright.  It stands to reason that small talk and necessary communication is unavoidable while driving, especially for parents who are driving their children. However, the longer a conversation carries on and the more emotion and attention is given, the more the situation begins to mirror the hands-free cell phone situation described above.

Zoning Out

Have you ever arrived at your destination and realized you did not remember half of the journey?  This scenario, sometimes called “highway hypnosis,” is more common than many drivers realize. If you are used to travelling the same route every day, or you have something else on your mind, it can be easy to disassociate from the act of driving much like one can do while going for a walk. We let our mind wander without much thought to the mechanical operations carrying us along. When in this state, the risk of personal injury increases because we may not be able to react quick enough to unexpected hazards in front of us.

Getting Professional Counsel

For years, the attorneys at H&P Law have been helping accident victims in Las Vegas and Nevada recover compensation for damages incurred in an auto accident. Contact H&P Law today to discuss your case and take action.

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