The need to keep up with a fast-paced life has left many motorists trying to multitask, thereby driving while distracted. A driver may have either their eyes or hands focused on something else while driving. Although texting while driving is widely believed to be the major form of distraction for motorists, other forms of distractions can come for drivers.
A motorist may have to check their map to figure out directions and momentarily take their focus off of the road, and sometimes, their hands off the wheel as well. Other distractions could be eating, making a call without being hands-free, or even trying to reach for something out of grasp.
Driving while distracted has been proven to be one of the major causes of road accidents. Recent statistics show that 15% of all injury crashes and 8% of all fatal crashes were as a result of distracted driving. Many dangers accompany distracted driving. These dangers may vary in the extent of damage, but they still cause damage to both lives and properties.
DANGERS OF DISTRACTED DRIVING
- Putting yourself and others at risk of bodily harm
With approximately 280,000 injuries per year caused by distracted driving, drivers and motorists cannot afford to take the risk of putting not just themselves at risk, but also other road users. Bodily harm can be as little as a sprain or as serious as a fractured bone, and in many cases death.
With so many lives being lost to distracted driving yearly, putting the physical well-being of every road user first is very important. Having such a mindset helps the driver keep his focus and do away with the distractions that can put them and other road users in the way of physical harm.
- Breaking the law-criminal consequences
In some states in the United States, it is against the law to drive while distracted, especially when making use of a wireless phone or any other technological gadget. Due to the number of accidents caused by motorists who text and drive, policies have been made by the government to ensure that motorists abide by the laws of driving. Motorists who drive while operating their phones are breaking the law and are charged.
- Causing damage to property
Definitely, not all accidents from distracted driving lead to fatal casualties. Nonetheless, a reasonable number of them lead to the destruction of properties. Many times, the driver’s car suffers most of the damage, but there are several other instances in which other properties are damaged as well.
It can be a trashcan that the motorist ran into or even a coffee shop with people in it. Either way, it still results in the damage of property. This danger can be prevented if motorists can keep their focus in check when driving.
- Increasing your insurance
For people with car insurance, every damage that is done to the car as a result of an accident, in turn, increases the insurance they have to pay for the car. This means driving while distracted is expensive, as it is likely going to cost money if any damage is done to the vehicle in the process.
Having to pay more for car insurance seems like a higher price to pay compared to driving without distractions. Although this is not always the case, it is safer to ensure that there are no distractions when driving, than to take the risk and have to pay more just for a couple of seconds of distraction(s).
- Loss of license
In some locations, motorists with multiple reports and charges of distracted driving will have their driver’s license taken from them. This means that driving while distracted puts drivers at risk of losing their license, even if it is temporary. This in turn means the driver will be unable to operate any vehicle in the period their license is suspended.
Just so you know
Getting distracted when driving does not take so much time. Just a split second is all it takes for irreparable damage to be done. Most motorists that try to multitask usually believe that they have it under control and can afford a few seconds with their eyes off the road or their hands off the wheel. While there are a few people who can manage this, the statistics of fatal and injurious accidents caused by distracted driving tell a different story.
Summarily, to avoid cases of putting themselves and other road users in the way of physical harm and even death, breaking the law, causing property damage, increasing their insurance, and losing their license, motorists should learn to keep their focus on driving at all times. Focus includes their visual, cognitive, and manual distractions. If any of these activities have to be attended to, drivers should find a safe space to park and then address whatever needs their attention.