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Car Accident Lawyer

If you’re worried about the adverse effects of distracted driving, you’re not alone. A 2017 study showed that American drivers worry about distracted driving more than impairment, aggression, and traffic congestion. The most effective way to help prevent distracted driving is to avoid it yourself.

However, the same study showed that even though 88% of drivers see distracted driving as a growing problem, approximately 45% admit to engaging in behaviors they describe as distracting while driving. It may be easier to recognize distractions in your own driving if you understand the different types that can occur.

In-Vehicle Versus External Distractions

A driving distraction is anything that takes your mind off the task of driving. It may also take your eyes off the road and/or your hands off the wheel. The longer a distraction occupies your attention, the more dangerous it can be.

In-vehicle distractions are those found within the cab. The in-vehicle distraction that tends to get the most attention is technology, e.g., smartphones and native infotainment systems built in by the manufacturer of the vehicle. However, other in-vehicle distractions include passengers’ behavior, especially that of misbehaving children or pets. You can also become distracted while trying to adjust the climate controls or the radio. It is safest to avoid in-vehicle distractions whenever possible or to address them before setting out. When this is not possible, you should pull over to deal with them.

An external distraction is one that occurs outside the vehicle. Billboards are an external distraction that many drivers underestimate. Flashing LED billboard displays that update every few seconds allow advertisers to maximize their revenue by selling a lot more advertising space. However, they can be dangerously distracting, drawing drivers’ eyes every time they switch to a new advertisement. Even the traditional static billboards can be distracting if they display a large amount of hard-to-read text.

Driver-Initiated Versus Non-Driver-Initiated

Billboards and other external distractions are non-driver-initiated. They are distractions that occur outside your vehicle, and as such, you have no control over them. Some in-vehicle distractions are also non-driver-initiated, such as a 2-year-old who suddenly decides to throw a temper tantrum. However, driver-initiated distractions are those over which you have control. For example, you can make the choice to complete grooming at home rather than trying to apply make-up in your automobile and eat breakfast at home rather than going through the drive-thru on your daily commute.

What makes distracted driving particularly frustrating is that you can only change your own behavior, not that of others. If you have been injured in an accident due to someone else’s distraction, contact a car accident lawyer, like from Davis & Brusca.