The mix of busy living schedules, digital overload, and traveling to work or school may be a dangerous concoction for distracted driving in this day and age. While most drivers concentrate on lowering their personal risk factors behind the wheel, few understand that some rely just as much on motorists’ consideration – the pedestrians. If you or a loved one has been involved in a pedestrian accident, get legal help immediately.
Understanding distracted driving
Distracted driving is a three-pronged issue that involves the mind, eyes, and hands. Drivers that are distracted move their attention away from the road, their eyes off the road, and/or their hands off the steering wheel. Any amount of distraction may be dangerous on the road.
To put this into perspective, at 55 miles per hour, a vehicle may traverse an entire football field in a matter of seconds, during which they may be unaware of what is going on on the road or sidewalk. This startling statistic emphasizes the dangers of inattentive driving.
The incidence of inattentive driving is concerning. According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,142 people died in incidents caused by distracted driving in 2020.
Distracted driving can take many forms, with some of the most prevalent being:
Driving while reading text messages or typing them is a well-known and extremely dangerous distraction. It demands visual, cognitive, and manual concentration, making it one of the riskiest driving practices.
- Being on your phone
Aside from texting, using a smartphone for activities such as browsing the internet, making phone calls, or utilizing applications diverts attention away from driving. The pull of digital gadgets is powerful, but the consequences may be grave.
- Consuming food or beverages
While eating or drinking while driving may appear benign, it needs physical and visual concentration that should be focused on the road ahead.
- Adjusting the radio
Tweaking the radio, CD player, or infotainment system might take a driver’s attention and hands away from the road.
While engaging in vibrant conversations with passengers can be entertaining, it can also pull a driver’s attention away from the road.
Daydreaming or being lost in thought is a common kind of distracted driving that is not as visible as the preceding distractions. It results in a loss of cognitive concentration when driving.
Safety hazards for pedestrians
Unlike motorists, pedestrians do not have the protective barrier of a car surrounding them. This basic distinction puts pedestrians at risk while sharing the road with inattentive drivers. In essence, pedestrians are unprotected anytime they are out and about, whether they are crossing the street, navigating parking lots, or walking down the sidewalk. When considering the repercussions of being struck by a car, even if that vehicle is not going at high speeds, this vulnerability becomes clear.