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What Are the “Basics” of Distracted Driving?

What Are the “Basics” of Distracted Driving?It’s easy to become used to driving. Many of us have been driving for a decade or two, and with that experience comes confidence, and with confidence often comes carelessness. Perhaps we speed more often or we slow down at certain stop signs rather than coming to a complete stop. These are risky behaviors, and one important behavior to watch out for is distracted driving.

Looking at your phone at an intersection, texting while driving, reaching for something that fell to the floor, or trying to soothe your children in the backseats. These are all examples of distracted driving that can lead to fatalities and severe injuries, not just for yourself and those in your car, but the drivers around you as well. There are ways, however, that you can help prevent yourself from becoming distracted while you’re behind the wheel.

What are the three types of distracted driving?

Instead of listing out every example of distracted driving, there are three categories that encapsulate all types of distractions.

  • Visual distractions. Visual distractions are anything that causes you to take your eyes off the road. Perhaps you’re driving by a beautiful view, or a text message catches your attention, or there’s an emergency crew working to help people in an accident on the opposite side of the highway. These are all examples of things that can cause you to take your eyes off the road in front of you, possibly leading to a dangerous accident.
  • Manual distractions. Manual distractions are anything that has you taking your hand or hands off the wheel. You might be reaching for your drink, grabbing your phone, or changing your music. When you take your hands off the wheel, your reaction time is slowed if you need to make an emergency swerve or turn.
  • Cognitive distractions. Cognitive distractions are the most difficult to catch. No doubt you’ve experienced this before: you’re driving to work or home, and the route is so familiar to you, it’s easy to zone out in your own thoughts about what to cook that evening or a doctor’s appointment coming up. This happens all too often, and it’s easy to miss. When you lose focus on the road in favor of thoughts or conversations, your reaction time is slowed down, and it’s easier to miss hazards on the road.

What kinds of accidents are caused by distracted driving?

Distracted driving can lead to many types of accidents. Being distracted negatively affects your reaction time; taking your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel, or your focus off driving means that you are putting yourself and others at risk.

Some of the most common types of accidents from distracted driving include:

  • Head-on collisions. Taking your eyes off the road for a moment can lead to you swerving into the opposite lane of traffic and hitting someone head-on. Head-on collisions are one of the most dangerous types of crashes, as it has two cars crashing into each other head-to-head. This can lead to significant injuries such as traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries that can lead to a lifetime of pain and complication.
  • T-bone accidents. Often occurring at intersections, these accidents happen when one car crashes into the side of another car at a perpendicular angle. If you are not paying attention to the road, you may not notice when the light in front of you at an intersection turns red, causing you to drive out into the intersection when you are not supposed to.
  • Pedestrian accidents. These accidents are the most dangerous types for pedestrians. When a pedestrian is hit by a car, they have no protection against the heavy, metal car that’s crashing into them. These accidents can cause the pedestrian severe injuries and even death. Whether you are taking your eyes off the road or your hands off the wheel, this puts pedestrians at risk.
  • Rear-end accidents. Perhaps some of the most common crashes when it comes to distracted driving are rear-end crashes. When you are busy dealing with the kids in the backseat or even just distracted by thoughts in your head, you are slow to react. If the car in front of you stops suddenly, you may not notice until it’s too late. Rear-end accidents can lead to such injuries such as whiplash, neck injuries, and head injuries.

How can a Chicago distracted driving attorney help me?

If you are the victim of an accident with a distracted driver, it may be difficult to prove that the driver was distracted in the first place. In order to help your lawsuit against the at-fault driver, it’s important to gather as much evidence as possible such as cell phone records, eyewitness statements, and medical documentation. That is why it’s important to have a lawyer on hand. We at Gainsberg Law have the experience and knowledge to gather the necessary evidence and present it clearly to help prove your case.

Being in a car accident is tough enough, but when it’s due to the negligence of a distracted driver, it can be that much worse. Not only do you have to suffer the pain of the injuries, but also the costs of treating your injuries. What’s worse is that you may suffer from prolonged complications and conditions from your injuries, requiring you to seek out further treatment. Don’t let this be more stressful than it already is. The attorneys at Gainsberg Law want to help you. Call our distracted driving lawyers at 312-600-9585 or use our contact page.