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Driving requires your full and constant attention. Anything that prevents you from safely operating your vehicle is considered a driving distraction. In recent years, cell phones have become the leading cause of car accidents, overtaking even drunk driving as the most dangerous form of driver impairment.
Classifying Distracted Driving
The Department of Transportation (DOT) uses three main categories to classify distracted driving:
- Visual - Taking your eyes off the road.
- Manual - Taking your hands off the steering wheel.
- Cognitive - Thinking about something other than driving.
Texting while driving involves all three of these categories, which is why it is such a frequent cause of car accidents.
Types of Distracted Driving
Although talking/texting on a cell phone is easily the most common form of distracted driving, other distracting activities can also lead to car accidents, such as:
- Eating or drinking while driving
- Reading maps
- Turning in your seat to talk to passengers
- Entering data into your GPS
Distracted driving laws differ from state to state. For a list of each state's distracted driving laws, click here.
Texting While Driving
Whenever you text, your reaction time as a driver goes down by 35%. This is much worse than the 18% deterioration caused by simply talking on your cell phone, and is also higher than drunk driving. Studies show that if you are going 60 MPH on a highway, it only takes 2 seconds of inattention to cause a car accident. When you consider that texting typically takes your eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the potential for a serious car accident is almost inevitable.
If you have been seriously injured in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, make sure you receive the fair compensation you deserve. Please contact The Chestnut Firm today to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our experienced Jacksonville car accident attorneys.