Driver distraction has been a significant danger in the United States for many years, even before the advent of smartphones. To reduce its prevalence, April was deemed Distracted Driving Awareness Month, encouraging U.S. residents to brush up on what distracted driving means, why it is so risky, and how to prevent it.
The 3 Types of Distracted Driving
Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are three primary types of distracted driving:
- Visual: anything that takes your eyes off the road, such as texting and emailing
- Manual: anything that requires you to take a hand off the wheel, such as eating, tuning the radio, or grooming
- Cognitive: anything that keeps your attention off the road, such as stress, daydreaming, or zoning out
Sometimes, auditory distraction (e.g. noises unrelated to driving) is cited as the fourth type of driver distraction. Rowdy passengers and listening to loud music are both auditory distractions.
Distracted Driving Can Be Fatal
The reason why Distracted Driving Awareness Month is so important is that driving while distracted has proven to be fatal time and again. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3,142 deaths were linked to accidents involving some form of driver distraction in 2019. Sadly, this number is not unusual; per the CDC, the fatalities hover around 3,000 each year. Additionally, estimates from the CDC show that driver distraction was a factor in about 400,000 traffic accidents that resulted in injury in 2018.
Preventing Distracted Driving in San Jose
There is no question that many San Jose residents rely on their personal vehicles to get around, run errands, and commute to work every day. When even one driver on the road is distracted, they put all other drivers in their vicinity at risk of injury. To keep yourself and others safe, refrain from driving while distracted. Don’t attempt to multitask. Simply pull over or wait until you get to your destination. It is always better to be a few minutes late than to be involved in a serious or, worse, fatal accident.
Injured by a Distracted Driver?
If you’ve been injured by a distracted driver in an accident, you may be able to seek compensation from that driver. Caputo & Van Der Walde LLP has a team of skilled San Jose attorneys who can guide you through the legal process and aggressively advocate for your rights. With more than 85 years of collective experience, we are fully equipped to represent you in your case.