Driver distractions are leading causes of death on American roads. In fact, they are responsible for 25 percent of all road fatalities.
In 2013, driver distractions caused 3,154 deaths and sent more than 421,000 people to hospitals with an array of injuries, according to Distraction.gov. Many of these victims faced exorbitant medical bills; some could not return to work.
If you were injured by a negligent driver in South Carolina, contact the Churdar Law Firm. Doug Churdar is a car accident lawyer in Greenville who can assess your case to determine if you may have a legitimate claim. You may be entitled to compensation for health-care expenses and lost income.
Call 864-233-0203 to schedule a consultation. Until then, read on to learn 10 deadly distractions that you should avoid when driving:
1. Getting Lost in Thought
Being “lost in thought” or generally preoccupied is responsible for 62 percent of all fatal accidents that involve distracted driving. Daydreaming is dangerous behind the wheel. If your mind is constantly trailing, then ask someone else to drive so you can rest.
2. Cell Phones
Cell phones are the second-leading causes of distracted driving deaths. They are accountable for 12 percent of them.
According to the Federal Communications Commission, cell phone use is just as reckless and dangerous as drunk driving. Forget about texting, talking or checking notifications behind the wheel.
3. External Activities
Outside distractions cause 7 percent of these fatalities. People are curious by nature and tend to slow down and stare at whatever is happening instead of watching the road ahead. An accident scene is a good example of this type of distraction, but any external activity can draw a driver’s attention.
Five percent of distracted driving fatalities happen because of disruptive passengers. A driver must keep his or her attention on the road, and when passengers demand too much of it, accidents can happen. Passengers should respect the driver and minimize distractions wherever possible.
5. Grabbing Items
Two percent of these victims die because a driver was reaching for something such as keys, a wallet or a cell phone. Grabbing objects across the car has two disadvantages: It takes your eyes off the road, and it forces you out of position so you cannot react quickly to sudden hazards.
6. Eating and Drinking
Another 2 percent of distracted driving deaths occur because drivers are eating or drinking. Opening cup holders, placing drinks inside them, peeling wrappers and rendering one hand useless is dangerous. In particular, spilling a hot drink can cause a chaotic reaction that causes the driver to lose control of the vehicle.
7. Controls for Climate and Audio
Simply adjusting audio and climate controls can cause an accident. In fact, it causes 2 percent of distracted driving collisions.
One in 100 accidents happens because of smoking. Collisions occur in the time it takes to light a cigarette or put it out. Smoking is particularly dangerous when drivers drop cigarettes and frantically feel for them.
9. Car Features
Adjusting mirrors, seatbelts and other car features can cause an accident. Drivers should complete these tasks before they hit the road. If you forget or require an adjustment en route, then pull over.
10. Sudden Movement
One percent of fatalities caused by distracted drivers happen because of a sudden movement in the car. Loose trash, untethered pets and even insects are common culprits. Declare your car a trash-free zone, and use a crate or car harness for boisterous pets.
If you were the victim of a distracted driver, contact the Churdar Law Firm. Doug Churdar is a Greenville accident attorney who can help you pursue compensation for lost wages, medical bills and other damages. Schedule a consultation today by calling 864-233-0203.