Why should you or one of your loved ones have to suffer injury because another Texas driver chose to disregard traffic laws and safety regulations? It is never okay to fail to stop at a stop sign or to make unsafe lane changes or blow through red lights. Chances are, there are distracted drivers on the road every time you get behind the wheel or ride as a passenger in someone’s car.
There are three main types of driving distraction. Some drivers deal with simultaneous distractions in more ways than one. Even a momentary distraction greatly increases the risk of collision. One minute, you might simply be commuting to work or driving to the grocery store. The next, a driver looking down at a cell phone might not see that you’ve stopped at a stop sign, and you could wind up in the back of an ambulance because of his or her negligence.
Understanding these types of distraction can help you stay safe
You can’t do anything about the way another person drives, but you can learn as much as possible about driving distractions to avoid becoming distracted yourself when you are behind the wheel. The following list includes the most common ways Texas drivers become distracted:
- Visual distractions occur when you take your eyes off the road. If a driver is looking at a text message or a GPS device, he or she may no longer know what’s going on in front or around his or her vehicle.
- Manual distractions occur if you take your hands off the wheel to perform another task, such as changing a radio station, lighting a cigarette or picking something up off the floor of your vehicle.
- Cognitive distractions are not always apparent because you may not be able to tell if another driver loses his or her train of thought. However, any time a driver takes his or her mind off the task of driving, he or she is cognitively distracted.
Most distractions are avoidable
To improve your own travel safety, you can improve your driving habits and avoid distractions. For instance, if you typically eat lunch on the go while you’re driving, you may want to start safely pulling off the road to park before you eat or drink. It is never safe or legal in Texas to text while driving, so it’s always best to keep your cell phone out of reach behind the wheel.
It’s also a good idea to avoid multi-tasking while driving. Bluetooth technology is beneficial in many ways. However, even using a hands-free device can place you at risk for a driving distraction. While navigating a Texas highway is not the best time to conduct a business meeting.
If another person’s distraction causes you injury
If a distracted driver recently hit you, you may have a long road ahead to fully recover from your injuries. In fact, in worst cases, an injury might have permanent, adverse effects, especially if you’ve suffered a traumatic brain injury. It’s not uncommon for frustration or anger to accompany physical injuries after a distracted driving collision.
Such feelings often arise because the injured person knows that the collision might never have occurred if the other driver had not been dealing with distractions at the time. In addition to staying closely connected to a medical team with experience treating accident victims, it’s also important to know where to seek legal support as needed, especially if complications arise with an insurance company.