Distracted driving poses great dangers to Minnesota drivers. According to the Centers for Disease Control, every day there are auto accidents that involve a driver not paying adequate attention to the road. These accidents can kill nine people and injure more than a thousand people a day. The CDC identifies three types of distracted driving, any of which can cause serious injury and even death.
When you remove your eyes partially or completely off the road, you are visually distracted. Visual distractions may not last long, but they can take away crucial seconds that you need to react to unexpected events on the road. Reduced reaction time impedes drivers from taking the right actions to stop their vehicles from hitting a pedestrian, another vehicle, or a physical landmark.
Drivers also need to keep their hands on the steering wheel. When they do not, they are manually distracted. Manual distractions can happen in many ways, such as manipulating the radio, texting, reaching for a coffee cup, or picking up a sandwich. Taking a hand off the wheel makes it harder to control your vehicle. You may not react to a road event in time, or you may turn the wheel too widely or too narrowly to prevent a collision.
Motorists can be distracted even if they have both hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. Cognitive distraction is when drivers have their minds on something other than driving. A motorist may be engaging in conversation with passengers or chatting on the phone. Mental distractions can reduce your perception of what is going on around your automobile and delay your reaction time when you most need it.
Any of these distractions alone boost the risk of getting into an auto collision, but activities that combine these distractions can be particularly dangerous. Texting is very perilous for drivers and their passengers because it combines visual, manual and cognitive distractions. Reading a text or sending one can take away your attention from the road for five seconds. That is enough time to cross a football field at 55 miles per hour.
Awareness of these forms of distracted driving can help curtail it, but if you find yourself involved in an accident with a distracted driver, know that you have rights that a car accident attorney can help you secure. Car accidents have different causes, so only consider this article as information and not actionable legal advice.