How well do you know the person in the vehicle next to you on a Texas roadway? There’s a chance you might know the driver or someone inside the vehicle. There’s an even greater chance that the people in the cars around you are strangers. Even if you do know who a particular driver is, you have no way of knowing what he or she is thinking or what his or her next move might be.
Distracted drivers are menaces to Texas roadways. There have been many serious, as well as fatal, collisions where the drivers who caused the crashes to occur later said they were dealing with a distraction or that they didn’t remember seeing another vehicle or pedestrian in their path. There are three main types of driving distraction that place you at risk for serious injuries.
Cognitive distractions involve focus of thought
When you’re driving, that’s all you should be thinking about. It’s not realistic, however, to think that no other thought is going to cross your mind when you get behind the wheel. To avoid cognitive driving distractions, however, you must try to control your thoughts and stay focused on the task at hand.
If another driver is daydreaming, rehashing a recent argument with a romantic partner in his or her mind, or thinking about a grocery list or other things he or she has to do that day, the chances of collision increase significantly.
Visual distractions are dangerous, too
You’ve heard it said that drivers should keep eyes on the road at all times. This is good advice because visual distractions can lead to serious motor vehicle collisions. If a driver is looking toward a field on the side of the road and the vehicle in front of him or her suddenly stops, chances of avoiding a crash are slim to none.
Visual distractions can occur inside a vehicle as well. If you’re looking at your radio dial, down at the floor or in a glove compartment, it is a recipe for disaster. Even if you think you’re only taking your eyes off the road for a split second, a split second is all it takes for a collision to occur.
Eyes on the road, hands on the wheel
Keeping both hands on the wheel at all times is the safest way to drive. It’s a fact that manual driving distractions are causal factors in many serious, if not fatal, collisions. Drivers who light cigarettes, eat or drink behind the wheel, adjust radio knobs or reach toward the rear seat to hand things to passengers are placing their own lives and the lives of other nearby travelers in danger.
The aftermath of a distracted driving collision
A manual, visual or cognitive driving distraction may quickly turn an uneventful road trip into a tragedy. A distracted driver might hit you before you even have time to realize there’s a potential problem nearby. Then again, you might notice suspicious driving behavior but not have time or ability to safely avert a crash.
Many recovering victims who have suffered injuries in Texas collisions caused by distracted drivers have successfully sought financial recovery for their losses by filing personal injury claims in civil court.