Common Distractions for Drivers in Boston

May 1, 2021

With the frequency of cell phones and onboard devices in vehicles, distracted driving is a rising issue. A study by NHTDA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) states distracted driving is a vital factor in deadly automobile crashes. One in ten deaths on the highway is due to driver distraction. If you have been in a distracted driving accident, reach out to the Boston personal injury attorneys at Michael Kelly to get the legal help and compensation you deserve.

More comprehensive distracted driving legislation has passed in many states, including Massachusetts, banning hand-held cell phone usage and texting. There has been a tremendous deal of education for Massachusetts drivers, yet many motorists keep participating in cell phone-related distracted driving, only using their cellphones while driving. These distracted drivers are negligent. If they injure you, you have the right to pursue a claim with Boston insurance companies for financial compensation for your medical bills and recovery..

What is Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving is an activity that takes a motorist’s attention away from operating their vehicle. It is a real safety hazard you could elude by continuously keeping your attention on the street, pedestrians, and other motor vehicles. It is your legal responsibility to avoid any distractions while behind the wheel.

Common Distractions for Drivers in Boston

The top common distractions for drivers in Boston:

Smoking-related: This includes lighting a cigarette, smoking, and putting it out.

Moving objects: Moving objects in the automobile like pets and bugs could move your focus off the road.

Adjusting controls: Changing the radio station or A/C for even a second is a factor in the number of traffic deaths.

Drinking or eating: The truth is using those car cupholders could be a cause of distraction.

Reaching or using a device: All motorists know that using a cellphone could focus on driving. However, reaching for your cell might lead to a fatal crash. You might try to search through your purse or pocket for your phone or look through your car using your hands for something other than driving. These distractions could make drivers lose control of their automobiles.

Other passengers: Other occupants in the vehicle could put enormous demands on your attention while driving, resulting in an accident. Drivers might have conversations, sometimes heated ones, with their passengers while driving. Parents might have to deal with kids fighting in the backseat, or pet owners might have a problem with a massive pet in the car.

External object or individual: It turns out that looking at someone or something outside your vehicle, like gawking at an accident, is way more of a disturbance than someone in your passenger seat.

In many of these circumstances, motorists slow down to view the same thing. If you turn your head, the vehicle in front may slow down or stop before you have time to stop a crash. Over 5% of all distracted driving collisions happen when motorists look at things or people outside their cars instead of paying attention.

Using a cellphone: Using a cellphone while driving is the second-leading cause of deaths due to distracted driving. Most drivers don’t know that looking at a phone for just a few seconds at moderate speed is the same as driving blind for 100 yards.

“Lost in thought” or daydreaming: Letting your mind wander while driving is the most significant cause of distracted driving fatalities. Daydreaming long enough could lead to an accident and even someone’s death. A bad day at work to no sleep could cause a driving distraction. As a motorist, it would be best to focus on driving safely and dealing with your situation once you get to your destination.

The one cause in each distracted driving collision is drivers putting their attention on something other than driving. Therefore, what makes so many drivers believe they can take their focus off the road?

The answer is complacency.

After you have been driving for some time, you get content and might not remember just how hazardous it might be. You have become unworried about the dangers of driving. As a result, you are more likely to feel you can let your mind wander or write a quick text without fatal consequences.

Heightening the issue are other states of mind, including tiredness, hurrying, and annoyance. These could further make you take your concentration off driving and influence your decisions to do things when driving that raises your chance of a crash.

Recognizing Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of severe traffic accidents in the U.S. Every motorist must continually do their best to pay close attention to the road when operating a vehicle. A driver who averts their attention from the road for any distraction, even for a few seconds, risks creating a tragic accident.

Causing a distracted driving crash could lead to criminal charges for violating distracted driving laws and civil liability for the victim’s damages. Any distracted driving could have detrimental consequences. Contact our Boston distracted driving accident lawyer if you have been in a crash due to any of these common causes.

Every driver has seen it and may even be guilty of doing one of these things periodically.

Sadly, distracted driving is a frequent occurrence that also is a leading cause of car accidents. Though there are numerous reasons why a driver could become distracted behind the wheel, that doesn’t change the fact that it sets off hundreds of accidents annually.

Anything that takes your attention away from the road is terrible. While some distractions might seem trivial, such as eating or moving a mirror, they could cause significant auto collisions.

Distracted Driving Leads to More Collisions Than You Think

When automobile accidents come to mind, people usually think of driving under the influence of an illegal substance or drunk driving as the leading cause. While it is true that these produce plenty of accidents, most drivers might not know that eight people die daily from accidents related to distracted driving.

Distracted drivers are a threat to not only themselves but everyone else as well. Other pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers are in danger when there is a distracted driver in the area.

In 2018, distracted motorists injured over 350,000 individuals. Among these individuals, more than 2,500 died due to their injuries, and 20% of these were not in a car. They were either cycling, running, or walking down the street.

On average, roughly 3,000 die every year from accidents caused by distracted driving. What is disturbing and upsetting about these deaths is that they were avoidable. Taking 5 seconds to answer a text may not sound like a big deal. But the truth of the matter is, it just takes 5 seconds to get into a crash and cause severe injury to another individual.

How to Prevent Distracted Driving

The best way to avoid distracted driving is not to let it occur in the first place. There are some things motorists can do to decrease their odds of becoming distracted while behind the wheel:

Put your cellphone away: Numerous distracted driving crashes due to cell phones occur because drivers want to answer a call or text. By putting your phone away, you guarantee a distraction-free ride without any alerts or vibrations.

Make all the needed adjustments before you drive: Before putting your vehicle in drive, adjust your lights, radio, and mirrors to your favored settings. All these things take under 60 seconds to perform and could save you from a diversion when you are on the road.

Secure children and pets: Driving while children or pets are bouncing around in the backseat is not only distracting but unsafe. Even if they are not the reason for the distraction, they could get injured if they do not have the proper seatbelts.

Stop to eat: If you’re on a road trip, it may be tempting to go in the drive-thru and eat while driving down the road. However, if you park your vehicle to eat, you can take a break and stop yourself from a possible accident by trying to eat and steer at the same time.

Ask passengers to help: Instead of driving and managing your GPS simultaneously, hand over-handling navigation to your passenger. They could provide you with directions while you concentrate on driving.

These are just a couple of examples of how to prevent distracted driving, making you a safer driver. There are several more ways you could stop distractions from the driver’s seat. You might even save a life, including your own.

Did a Distracted Driver Injure You in an Accident?

Even if you are a focused motorist who drives carefully and obeys all the traffic laws, you could still get struck by a distracted motorist. A car accident lawyer in Boston could advise your legal options and how to get compensation for your damages.

Suppose you or a loved one are dealing with a stack of medical bills from an accident with a distracted motorist. In that case, you have the right to safeguard yourself by seeking monetary compensation. Get in touch with our law firm Michael Kelly, by phone or online to schedule a comprehensive case evaluation with our personal injury lawyer.

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Michael D. Kelly has a diverse background that provides a breadth of legal knowledge that he draws upon in serving his clients. Kelly compiled an excellent academic record during his three years at New England Law in Boston.