On the road, you and other drivers have an obligation to protect each other’s safety. Unfortunately, distracted drivers take risks with their lives and with the lives of others. In the U.S., about nine people die in distracted driving accidents every day.
If a distracted driver caused your accident, he or she may be culpable. All drivers must understand how dangerous even momentary distractions can be.
Driving with your eyes closed
Visual distractions include all actions that take your eyes off the road. For example, reading a text message, checking the GPS or looking at a passenger are all activities that take your eyes away from the task of driving. Most people assume the road will remain unchanged if they glance away for a few seconds. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Other vehicles can cross into your lane, pedestrians and animals can cross the street without warning and obstacles can appear in your path with little to no warning.
When you look away, it is the same as closing your eyes. Imagine closing your eyes and driving across the length of a football field. This is similar to what you do when you read a text while driving 55 MPH.
Losing the opportunity to react
When you take your hands off the wheel, you may lose the opportunity to react to obstacles. Your hands need to remain on the wheel so you can swerve accordingly. For instance, if an animal crosses the freeway and you have your hands busy with the GPS or radio, you may not be able to swerve in time.
In addition to endangering other drivers, many victims of distracted drivers are pedestrians and bicyclists.