You climb into your car multiple times a day, many times a week, and after a few years it probably feels like you could do it in your sleep. Most people who drive regularly will become complacent at some point, but having too much confidence behind the wheel can lead to a tragic mistake.
Talking on your phone, adjusting the GPS system, combing your hair – these are all ordinary acts that could have serious or even fatal consequences when done on the road. According to a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distractions like these caused 3,328 deaths and 421,000 injuries in 2012.
Even the most careful drivers can fall victim to distracted motorists. If you or a family member suffered an injury in a crash that another driver caused, contact an Albuquerque injury lawyer from The Law Office of Brian K. Branch. You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost income and noneconomic damages.
Our attorneys have been representing personal injury victims since 1997. Call 505-207-4401 to schedule a free initial consultation. You can also learn more about car accident injury lawsuits by visiting USAttorneys.co m.
In the meantime, take note of these five common distractions:
If you are a good driver, it might seem as though you can steer while reading and sending text messages, and if you are a very good driver, this might be true – most of the time. But the same 2012 NHTSA report found that cell phones were reported as a distraction for 13 percent of the distracted drivers in fatal crashes – a total of 415 people.
To stay safe, use your phone for emergencies only. Before you start the engine, put your phone on silent or turn it off.
- Talking to Passengers
New Mexico’s graduated driver licensing laws restrict the number of passengers under the age of 21 for the duration of the provisional license. This is to help a new driver become familiar with the controls of the vehicle and the dangers of driving before introducing the distraction of transporting multiple passengers.
Even if you have been driving for several years, it is a good idea to limit the number of passengers you carry. If you are transporting several people, don’t be afraid to ask them to stay quiet, put their phones on silent, or discontinue other distracting behavior.
- Eating and Drinking
How many times have you run out the door in the morning and grabbed breakfast on the go? It might seem like you are saving time, but you will be a lot less attentive to what’s happening around you as you drive. Eating and drinking while trying to steer increases the risk of crashing.
- Using an In-Car Information System
A study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that drivers who used in-car information systems, such as radios, hands-free sets and GPS navigation systems, had their attention impaired for up to 27 seconds after they’d finished. This means that for almost half a minute after adjusting your radio volume or navigating your route, you are at an increased risk on the road.
- Singing and Dancing
A survey by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety showed that almost 5 percent of drivers involved in accidents between 1988 and 2012 were singing, talking or dancing while driving.
Driving while distracted is a dangerous activity that should be avoided at all costs – no matter what song is playing on the radio. If you get caught up in singing along or dancing in your seat, your chances of avoiding a careless driver are drastically reduced.
If you were in an accident with a distracted driver, contact The Law Office of Brian K. Branch. An Albuquerque car accident attorney will evaluate your case, gather evidence, interview witnesses and help you pursue the maximum compensation. Schedule a free initial consultation today by calling 505-207-4401.