It can wait: Why texting and driving is so dangerous

Distracted driving is a problem, not only in Tennessee, but across the country. A disturbing number of accidents relate in some way to one of the various types of distracted driving, yet despite increased awareness and laws prohibiting phone use while behind the wheel, it remains a serious threat to public safety.

Researchers estimate that people take their eyes off the road approximately five seconds at a time when they are texting. This is equivalent to driving the entire length of a football field without looking. It is dangerous, and it is always unnecessary. Victims of this type of negligent behavior do not have to face the aftermath alone. They have the right to hold distracted drivers accountable for damages.

Why is texting such a risk?

Not only does texting and driving take a person's eyes off the road, it affects the driver's attention in multiple ways. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are three types of distraction:

  • Visual: This is anything that causes a driver to move his or her eyes off the road for any amount of time.
  • Cognitive: This includes anything that takes a driver's attention from driving safely, even when his or her hands are on the wheel.
  • Manual: This is anything that causes a driver to remove his or her hands from the steering wheel for any amount of time.

Texting affects visual, cognitive and manual concentration, and the act of reaching for a phone, holding a mobile device, reading a text or typing a message can take a driver's attention frequently and for dangerous amounts of time.

Who is most likely to be distracted?

Many studies have shown that drivers under the age of 20 are significantly more likely to be involved in a fatal distracted driving accident. While young drivers may be more prone to texting while behind the wheel, no demographic is immune from the temptation of using the phone while driving.

Negligence as the cause of personal injury is grounds for a civil claim, no matter the age of the liable party. Victims deserve a full recovery, and although distracted driving cases can be complex, it is possible to secure the recompense needed for medical care and other losses with experienced legal support working on the claimant's behalf.

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