It’s that time of year again. Kids are heading back to school, and with that comes an increase in traffic. It is a dangerous time for drivers, as more people are on the road — including school buses and parents taking their children to and from extracurricular events. Added into the mix are the children who walk to school.
Distracted driving is a huge problem during this time, leading to many accidents yearly.
The dangers of driving while distracted
Distracted driving is any activity that takes one’s attention away from the primary task of driving. It includes anything that takes a driver’s eyes off the road, hands off the steering wheel, or minds off driving. In 2020, it was the cause of 8.1% of all traffic accidents. In addition, over 400,000 had to seek hospital treatment.
Texting is perhaps the best-known type of distracted driving. Sending or reading a text message takes a driver’s eyes off the road for an average of five seconds. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.
Other common distractions include:
- Talking to passengers.
- Interacting with children in the back seat.
- Eating or drinking.
- Adjusting the radio.
- Using a navigation system.
If you see a distracted driver, it’s important to remember your defensive driving techniques. Keep an eye on the driver and give them plenty of space. Either slow down to let them pass you or attempt to pass them. If you feel they are a danger to other drivers on the road, pull over to the side of the road and call 911.
Suppose you or a loved one are involved in a car accident involving someone driving distracted. In that case, you should be able to receive compensation for your medical expenses and any lost wages due to your injuries. To learn more, please see our New Mexico car accident overview.