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Common Distracted Driving Causes

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, distracted drivers kill around nine people and injure over 1,000 more individuals on U.S. roads each day. In Pennsylvania, distracted drivers caused 16,036 crashes and 61 deaths in 2016, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Distracted driving is defined as any activity that takes attention away from driving; these include activities that cause drivers to remove one or both hands from the steering wheel, take their eyes off the road, or let their minds wander.

Cellphones and Distracted Driving

One of the most recognized causes of distracted driving is cellphone use. In today's age of smartphones, many people find it difficult to ignore their phone calls, text messages, and social media posts when they get behind the wheel. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that around 481,000 drivers are using their phones at any given time during daylight hours. Unfortunately, this temptation to keep in touch endangers thousands of people each day. If a car crash was caused by a driver using a cellphone, our Philadelphia car accident lawyer can gather witness testimony and other evidence to hold that driver legally accountable for any damages resulting from the accident.

Other Common Causes of Distracted Driving

Cellphones are not the only cause of distracted driving. In fact, they may not even be the top cause. Insurance studies have found that daydreaming causes over 60 percent of distracted driving crashes. Daydreaming can include any thoughts that cause a driver's mind to wander, including thinking about work or mentally planning what to make for dinner. In comparison, the same studies have found that cellphones cause around 14 percent of distracted driving crashes.

Other common causes of distracted driving include:

  • Watching people, animals, objects, or events outside the vehicle
  • Talking to other passengers in the car
  • Adjusting the vehicle's stereo or navigation system
  • Eating, drinking, or smoking

If any of these distractions cause a crash, our Philadelphia car accident attorney can represent the injured victims in court. By using police reports and accident investigation results, our Allentown injury attorney can strive to prove that a victim's injuries were the result of a distracted driver's negligent actions. This could lead to a financial settlement that covers medical expenses and other damages.

Distracted Driving and Smart Cars

Advances in safety technology have made cars safer than ever before. These newer technologies include rearview cameras, collision avoidance systems, automatic braking systems, and semi-autonomous driving modes. While these advances save lives, they can also lull some drivers into letting their attention drift while behind the wheel. For example, in March 2018, an Uber autonomous vehicle struck and killed a pedestrian in Arizona while the test driver was distracted by something inside the vehicle. Meanwhile, multiple Tesla drivers have crashed while operating their vehicles in semi-autonomous autopilot mode and taking their hands off the wheels.

Drivers are required to pay attention to the road at all times to prevent accidents. If a semi-autonomous vehicle crashes because the driver was not paying attention, our Philadelphia accident attorney can obtain the vehicle's crash data and sue the driver on behalf of any injured victims.

Drowsy Driving Contributes to Distracted Driving

While drowsy driving and distracted driving may seem like two different issues, they actually contribute to each other. A drowsy driver has a hard time paying attention to the road, and a driver who is daydreaming or not paying attention could become sleepy under the right conditions.

If police determine that a driver was distracted or drowsy in the moments leading up to a crash, our Allentown car accident lawyer can use that information as the basis for a personal injury lawsuit.

Tips to Avoid Distracted Driving

Most drivers are guilty of distracted driving from time to time. Here are some tips to help people keep their attention on the road.

  • Only use cellphones for emergencies.
  • Put cellphones in "Do Not Disturb" or "Driving" mode.
  • Limit conversations with passengers.
  • Avoid eating or drinking while the vehicle is in motion.
  • Organize schedules to avoid the need to multitask on the road.
  • Pull over when feeling drowsy.

Seeking Legal Assistance

Victims of distracted driving crashes may benefit from scheduling a free consultation with our Allentown truck accident lawyer at Metzger & Kleiner. Contact us by email, or call us toll-free at (866) 847-4170. Local residents can retain the services of our Philadelphia injury attorney at (215) 567-6616. You can also call our office in Lehigh Valley at (610) 435-7400.

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