Distracted Drivers: Threats on the Road

Feb 12

Even before the 1900s, accidents involving automobiles were already happening; some of these accidents caused damage to the vehicle, some resulted to driver and passenger injuries, and a few resulted to the horrible death of certain individuals.

As early as 1925, state authorities already saw that cars are bound to crash and cause damages to properties and injuries on people. It was for this reason why car liability insurance became a mandate – so that at-fault drivers will not default on paying victims the compensation they have a legal right to seek.

Majority of car accidents, however, are mere results of human negligence or recklessness; of bad road behavior or failure to perform one’s duty in making sure that roads and highways do not pose dangers to motorists or that cars are not defectively designed and do not contain defective parts.

Though car crashes are totally preventable, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is alarmed that more than 30,000 still die every year because of these. And while traffic authorities have increased their vigilance against drivers who speed, who drive recklessly, or even when intoxicated, another group of threats on the road is slowly increasing, most of whom are made up of teens and young adults – distracted drivers.

Distracted driving happens when a driver engages in an activity that will take his or her focus from the task of driving. This distracting activity may be carried out by the driver himself/herself or by someone else inside the car with the driver or someone outside the car. Due to distractions, it is, therefore, easy for drivers to fail to anticipate and react to possible road hazards. Currently, the use of cell phone while driving is the worst and most dangerous kind of distraction for drivers. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every year thousands of car crashes, which injure 1,153 individuals and kill at least 9 others, occur due to the use of cell phone, whether texting or talking with someone. The use of cell phone, however, is not the only form of distraction that drivers get engaged in. There are so many others which have become so normal that drivers no longer realize these as distractions; their effects, however, are often tragic.

According the website of Williams Kherkher,  some of the most common forms of driving distractions, which so many drivers are guilty of, include: eating and drinking; adjusting a GPS device, compact disc player or car radio; using a laptop; reading a map for directions: talking or arguing with a car passenger (the more passengers there are in a car, the greater the distraction); reaching for an object (especially from the back seat); playing with or being distracted by a child; getting distracted by a pet or an insect; grooming; lighting a cigarette; smoking; and getting lost in thought.

Victims of car accidents may have grounds to pursue legal action against the party responsible for their injuries. It is not impossible for car accidents to cause severe injuries that can result to financial losses, pain and suffering for victims. It is for these losses and sufferings that victims have the right to seek compensation.

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