There’s no guarantee you will safely reach your destination whenever you travel Texas roadways by motor vehicle. In fact, some people claim airplane travel may be safer than driving a car. As a cautious driver, you pay close attention to your surroundings and the actions of nearby motorists, especially in highly congested areas, such as intersections or busy interstates. On more than one occasion, however, you’ve probably encountered a distracted driver. Do you know that most types of driving distractions fall under three main categories?
This information may help keep you and your loved ones safer the next time you travel as pedestrians or by car. It may also help you gather evidence if a distracted driver causes a collision that results in your injury.
The visual, manual and cognitive dangers of driving
Keep your hands on the wheel. Keep your eyes on the road. These are basic instructions often given to new drivers. Whether you just obtained your first driver’s license or have been driving for several decades, such recommendations remain valid and can help you avoid collision. The following list shows three main types of driving distraction that are often factors in accidents resulting in injuries:
- Cognitive impairment: A driver who is interacting with other vehicle occupants may not be completely focused on the more important task at hand — driving. Any time your mind is engaged in conversation or even deep thought, it poses a significant risk for collision if you happen to be the one behind the wheel at the time. Not every driving distraction is immediately apparent. Drivers who are lost in their own thoughts are dangerous to others.
- Manual impairment: Many states have outlawed texting while driving and some even have laws prohibiting holding hand-held electronic devices while driving. Cell phone use or other hand-held gadgets aren’t the only manual risks for drivers, however. Adjusting radio knobs, rummaging through pocketbooks or vehicle consoles, and many other manual activities often cause driver distractions that leads to collisions.
- Visual impairment: Not all potentially distracting electronic devices are hand-held. If you have reason to believe the driver who hit you was looking at a GPS device or other piece of mobile equipment instead of at the road, you may have grounds for filing a personal injury claim to seek recovery for your losses following a collision.
Other visual impairments include glancing at billboards or gawking at off-road scenes, such as police traffic stops in action or aftermaths of auto accidents. The more aware you are of the potential motorist risks involved with visual, cognitive or manual distraction, the better.
Many recovering victims in past Texas vehicle collisions have sought justice against distracted drivers by proving that the distractions were responsible for their injuries. An experienced personal injury attorney can help construct a case against a party deemed negligent in a collision.