Distracted driving is one of the major causes of motor vehicle crashes involving injuries and fatalities throughout the United States, and Wisconsin is no exception. As many as one in five crashes in Wisconsin involved some sort of driver distraction, and there were over 24,000 car crashes in 2015 in Wisconsin alone that involved driver distraction. Despite laws to restrict cell phone usage and other distracting technological items in vehicles, distracted driving persists. Drivers routinely send and read text messages, eat and drink, apply make-up, brush hair, and rummage through glove compartments and the back seat in order to find various items. Until drivers discontinue this behavior, distracted driving will continue to be a significant factor in motor vehicle crashes nationwide.
According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT), there are three main types of distracted driving:
- Manual – taking your hands off the wheel
- Visual – taking your eyes off the road
- Cognitive – taking your mind off driving
Many distracted driving accidents involve more than one type of distracted driving, but it only takes one type of distracted driving to result in a catastrophic accident. DOT points out that a typical distracted driving incident takes about five seconds. If you are driving 55 mph, then you will have traveled over 100 yards, or the length of a football field, before your attention fully returns to driving.
You can take some simple steps to avoid distracted driving:
- Turn off your cell phone, place it out of reach, or download an app that prevents you from receiving texts, calls, and notifications while driving.
- Pull over safely in a designated stopping area if you need to address something that is distracting you.
- Plan ahead by eating, drinking, applying make-up, and fixing your hair before you start driving.
As this post illustrates, the different types of distracted driving easily can led to accidents with catastrophic results. Whether your injuries stem from an accident involving a distracted driving or not, you will need assistance with any personal injury claim that you might have. For more information about how to properly handle your personal injury claim, contact the Wisconsin personal injury lawyers of Boller & Vaughan today.