Driving entails razor-sharp focus. After all, you endanger not just yourself but also your passengers, other drivers and their passengers, pedestrians and other road users. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported 3,522 fatalities due to distracted driving in 2021 alone.
But staying on task is more challenging than it sounds. Being on the road means exposure to constant stimuli trying to catch your attention. A second of losing control of your concentration can result in catastrophic circumstances.
Types of driving distractions
In a NHTSA reporting system, the most common causes of distracted driving are anything related to cigarette use and movements inside the vehicle or adjustments in the vehicle’s systems.
Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, distracted driving may have three main categories:
- Manual: Hands off the wheel
- Eating, drinking or smoking
- Adjusting the radio or navigation system
- Holding a book to read or using a pen for writing
- Grooming, like applying make-up or fixing hair
- Visual: Eyes off the road
- Sending a text message or email
- Reaching for the glove compartment
- Using a mobile phone or any electronic device
- Interacting with passengers or breaking up fights between children
- Cognitive: Mind off the task
- Trying to get a better view of an accident scene
Pennsylvania has a texting-while-driving ban, which prohibits drivers from the usage of any interactive wireless communication device while operating a vehicle. Any violation of this offense is punishable by a $50 fine and other possible court fees. But there are exemptions to this rule, like if the driver’s not in motion at a stop sign or if there’s an emergency requiring a text or a call.
Keep your focus, no matter what
Multitasking saves time, but it can also cost lives. If your other task can’t wait, it’s safer to pull over. Suppose you or a loved one are suffering tragic injuries due to a distracted driver. In that case, it will help to have a legal representative guide you to recover financial compensation for your losses. Ultimately, seeking accountability also helps in making the roads much safer.