Cell phones and other internet-enabled devices keep people better connected than ever before. As good as that may be, there are also certain associated risks. Distracted driving is one of the more common dangers impacting modern life.
Using a phone isn’t the only way of distracting a person while behind the wheel, though. If you never use your cell while driving, but you’ve engaged in any behavior that takes your focus off of the road, even for a few moments, that is distracted driving. Recognizing what constitutes as distracted driving in Wyoming and why it often leads to car accidents is the first step to ending the practice, for good.
What is distracted driving, and should I worry?
Distracted driving happens when a driver takes his or her focus off the task of driving for any length of time. This doesn’t only mean taking your hands off the steering wheel, which is manual distraction. In addition, there are visual and cognitive distractions. Visual distraction means looking away from the road, and cognitive distraction means that your mind is not on the task of driving. Some common forms of distraction in these categories include texting, using a GPS, consuming food or changing the radio.
The problem of distracted driving is significant as studies conducted by the Centers for Disease Control find that more than 2,800 people died in 2018 as a result of a crash with a distracted driver. What’s more, 20% of those fatalities happened to people who weren’t in a vehicle at the time but were pedestrians or cyclists. This particularly impacts drivers aged 20-29, who constitute a quarter of distracted drivers in fatal collisions.
Stop distracted driving before it starts
Fortunately, this is one behavior that people can easily change if committed to doing so. Make sure that you never engage in any distracted driving behavior. If you have young drivers in your family, talk to them about best driving practices and potential punishment for any violations. Be sure you are setting a good example for them to follow. If you are in a vehicle with a distracted driver, you can help by offering to navigate or text for him or her. Speaking up could save lives.
Even when you and your loved ones avoid these risks, you could still get into car accidents with distracted drivers. You may want to trust in the expertise of a personal injury attorney as a means of holding a negligent driver responsible. Rest assured that doing so is your right.