Distracted driving causes more auto accidents than any other form of negligence. Any action that requires you to look away from the road for more than two seconds is considered a potentially dangerous distraction. For instance, glancing at the radio before you change the station is not a distraction as long as your eyes immediately return to the road in front of you. However, watching the radio for any longer than two seconds as you switch multiple channels is a distraction.
Other forms of distracted driving include texting while driving, making phone calls while driving, or utilizing any ADAS (advanced driver assistance systems) that requires more than two seconds of your attention. Some examples of ADAS include lane departure warning systems, back up cameras and cruise control.
Distraction is all around us
A recent survey published by Esurance found that drivers who owned newer cars with more ADAS and other technological features reported being more distracted while driving than those who drove older models without those features. For example, many people who had lane departure warning systems, which were supposed to make driving safer, reported that those systems were actually more distracting than they were helpful.
That being said, ADAS features, specifically lane departure warning systems, have been beneficial in reducing the number of auto accidents every year. Jessica Cicchino is the vice president of research with the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS). The Institute's studies show reductions in accidents due to lane departure warning systems.
"This is the first evidence that lane departure warning is working to prevent crashes of passenger vehicles on US roads. Given the large number of fatal crashes that involve unintentional lane departures, technology aimed at preventing them has the potential to save a lot of lives," Cicchino said.
When in doubt, pull over
If you are out on the road and you want to switch to another playlist, need to enter a new destination on your GPS, or are distracted by a child in the back seat, pull over. If you're on the freeway, take the next exit, safely pull off to the side of a road or into a parking lot, and then complete your task.
Taking an extra two minutes to ensure your safety before you start your task will make all the difference in the world. It is so much better to arrive at your destination a couple of minutes behind schedule than be severely delayed by an accident.
If you have been injured in an accident, you need the Seattle car accident lawyers at Nelson Langer Engle. PLLC. Our team has been helping the injured in Seattle and throughout Washington for decades. We have the skills and experience to help you too. Don't wait. Contact us today. One of our attorneys is waiting to provide you with a free consultation.