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The Dangers of Distracted Driving

As a society, we’re increasingly familiar and comfortable with using mobile devices. As a result, distracted driving issues have risen to the forefront when it comes to motor vehicle safety. You may not think it’s all that dangerous to quickly send a text or read something while you’re driving, but because texting involves visual, manual and cognitive attention, it’s actually the most dangerous form of distracted driving.

The statistics are alarming. In 2011, 3,331 motor vehicle fatalities involved distracted driving, and 387,000 people were injured in accidents in which distracted driving was a factor. Overall, 10 percent of crashes that resulted in an injury of some sort involved distracted driving.

Even more alarming are the statistics for drivers 15 to 19 years old. In that age group, 11 percent of drivers involved in fatal crashes were distracted at the time the crash occurred. For 21 of these young distracted drivers, the distraction involved the use of a cell phone.

What exactly is distracted driving?

Anything that pulls your attention from the road constitutes distracted driving. The most common distractions while driving are:

  • Texting
  • Using a cell phone
  • Using a GPS or other electronic navigation system
  • Eating or drinking
  • Talking to other people in the car
  • Reading a map
  • Grooming

The list of potential distractions while driving, however, is endless, and any distraction, if it takes your attention from the operation of your vehicle, can have dangerous consequences. Consider this: When you take your eyes off the road for 4.6 seconds, which is the average time it takes to send or receive a text, while driving 55 mph, you have essentially driven blind a distance roughly equal to the length of a football field.

Distracted driving is becoming an increasingly dangerous issue in today’s mobile tech society. If you’ve been involved in an accident in which distracted driving was an issue, contact an experienced Tennessee personal injury attorney to learn about your legal options.

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