Now more than ever drivers on the roads are doing more than just driving the car. Whether it’s focusing on the navigation, texting or checking email on their phone, making calls, checking their hair in the rearview mirror, eating fast food, or playing with the satellite radio, drivers distractions are making it more dangerous for walkers, runners and bikers who are sharing the roads.
Using Navigation Systems
Remember the days when Google Maps didn’t exist and you would have to figure out how to get somewhere on your own? It’s been 12 years since Google Maps was created and electronic navigation devices began taking over our sense of direction. Now, even if it’s a short drive away, chances are you’re putting the address into to a device that will tell you where to go. Doing this while driving is a distraction.
Using Cell Phone
Cellphones pose the biggest distractions to drivers. Without a doubt, texting has skyrocketed in the last 15 years. The average time your eyes are off the road when texting and driving is an estimated five seconds. This means if one was traveling 55 mph, they could cover the length of a football field without even knowing it. According to the National Safety Council, at least 1.6 million crashes each year involve drivers using cellphones.
Eating and Drinking Food
Everyone does it. You’re hungry and pick up some fast food on your way to your destination. It’s convenient, but can also be dangerous. While you’re unwrapping your food and using one hand to drive, the world is still moving around you.
Smoking causes one or two hands to be removed from the steering wheel. You have to pull out the cigarette, find you’re lighter, coordinate lighting it, while rolling a window down. Aside from this fact, a driver may also become distracted visually when ashing their cigarette in either a tray or out of the window. Smoking distracts drivers from the road and puts others at risk.
Who doesn’t like playing music while driving? Everyone does it. Sometimes changes to the radio station can be harmless, but you’re still taking your eyes off of the road and hand off the wheel every time you do it. Also, if you have an MP3 player or smartphone playing music, it’s not as simple to change music. In finding a new song, you may have to (1) unlock your phone (2) open the app (3) find the artist (4) find the album (5) then finally select the song. There could be a large gap of time before you become completely focused back on the road and until then, everyone else around could be in danger.
Distracted Drivers Must Pay For Their Negligence
Drivers using the roadways have a duty to drive carefully and safely. If a driver is distracted and causes an accident the driver is guilty of negligence and will be responsible for paying for the injuries and damages caused to the injured person. The negligent driver will be responsible for paying for the injured person’s medical bills, lost earnings as well as pain and suffering.
At LaMarche Safranko Law, we sue distracted drivers who cause injuries to walkers, runners or bicyclists. If you or someone you love has been involved in a bicycle or pedestrian accident, please contact us today for a free consultation.
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