Who is impacted the most by distracted driving?
If you're like many seasoned drivers, the task of driving can seem automatic — sometimes to the point that drivers have no recollection of their daily commutes.
In today's world, it's actually rare for motorists to give driving their full, undivided attention. Distraction impacts everyone to some degree, and even affects otherwise responsible drivers.
There are four degrees of distraction drivers may experience. Sometimes, there is an overlap between two or more. These include:
- Visual: Looking anywhere other than at the road ahead
- Manual: Taking hands off the wheel
- Cognitive: Thinking about anything other than driving
- Audible: Talking, loud music, or other distracting sounds
Do minor distractions increase the risk of a crash?
In many cases, minor distractions don't typically cause any issues. For example, taking a moment to tune a radio or take a sip of coffee are common tasks that occur while driving. According to the balance, however, it only takes minor distractions to cause a serious or fatal crash.
In 2017, approximately 4,699 Nebraska motorists were involved in crashes caused by distracted driving — resulting in 19 fatalities.
Cellphones get most of the scrutiny when it comes to efforts to curb distracted driving. For example, Nebraska currently has a texting and driving ban in place that prohibits all drivers from typing, sending, or reading texts behind the wheel. It applies to cellphones, tablets, personal digital assistants, laptops, and even pagers. Violators may be fined $200-$500.
The texting and driving ban, however, doesn't apply to hands-free or Bluetooth devices or built-in infotainment technology — all of which can be nearly as distracting. In addition, there are currently no laws prohibiting drivers from engaging in other forms of distraction. Even when drivers refrain from texting, they may be doing the following:
- Adjusting their radio or infotainment features
- Dealing with loud kids
- Eating or drinking
- Programming GPS navigation
- Taking care of personal hygiene
- Retrieving an item that fell on the floor
I was in a crash with a distracted driver. Now what?
Regardless of which type of distractions drivers engage in, they all have one thing in common: they can result in a serious crash within a split second. If you or a loved one was hurt in a crash with a distracted driver, it's critical that you consult with an Omaha car accident attorney who can help you build a strong legal claim.
Cellphone use behind the wheel often leaves behind digital evidence that distraction occurred at the time of a crash. Some other forms of distraction, however, may not leave behind any physical evidence. What can be confirmed is that someone else's inattention, negligence, or recklessness caused your crash. That's why a thorough investigation is necessary.