When an individual is behind the wheel, his or her main priority should be to safely operate the vehicle. This means focusing on the task at hand and setting aside everything else until arriving at the destination. Some drivers have a hard time doing this, allowing their phones and other things to take their focus. Distracted driving is dangerous, unnecessary and significantly increases the chance of an accident.
Despite the known risks of driving while distracted, some still believe they can safely multitask. Others do not realize that certain things can be as distracting as phone use, including the radio or having a conversation with a passenger. Every individual who chooses to get behind the wheel is responsible for the choices he or she makes that cause harm to others.
How distraction affects a driver
There are many things that can take the attention of a driver while behind the wheel, but the primary culprit is the phone. Thanks to the widespread use of cellphones, virtually every driver has the ability to chat, text, watch television, scroll social media, check email and much more. Looking at a phone for even a second or two can increase the chance of a crash. Phone use while driving can involve multiple types of distraction, including the following:
- Manual distraction — This happens whenever a driver takes his or her hands off the wheel, such as when holding a phone or reaching for something.
- Cognitive distraction — This happens when a driver is focusing on anything other than the task at hand. It can happen when focusing on a text, listening to the radio or simply daydreaming.
- Visual distraction — This happens when a driver is looking at something other than the road and potential hazards. This is obviously a risk of cell phone use, but it can include other activities as well.
There is no reasonable excuse for distracted driving. If you are the victim of an accident caused by a distracted driver, you have the right to pursue legal recourse for your pain, suffering and financial losses. To learn more about the specific options available to you, you may want to seek an assessment of your case and an understanding of how the civil justice system works in California as soon as possible after your accident.