Texting and Driving Is Not the Only Type of Distracted Driving in Alabama
Using a cellphone to talk or text while driving is not the only form of distracted driving. There are many distractions that can lead to serious car accidents.
As the smartphone with all of its advanced capabilities increased in popularity through the years, the number of motor vehicle accidents caused by distracted drivers also increased. According to the Pew Research Internet Project, over 58 percent of adult Americans own smartphones, and 90 percent of adults own a cellphone of some type. Although Alabama has enacted a law prohibiting motorists from texting and driving in the state, many people continue to talk on their cellphones while driving, which is also considered a deadly driver distraction.
Types of driver distractions
Texting and driving is undoubtedly one of the most dangerous activities that one could engage in while driving. This is due to the fact that texting involves three types of driver distractions, including manual, visual and cognitive distractions. Manual distractions entice drivers to remove their hands off of the steering wheel, while visual distractions require drivers to take their eyes off of the road. When drivers experience cognitive distractions, their focus is removed from the task of driving partially, or in some cases completely. It is not illegal to talk on a hand-held or hands free cellphone while driving in Alabama. However, both of these activities have proven to be extremely dangerous.
The dangers of cognitive distraction
Some people believe that they are able to successfully multitask by talking on a cellphone while driving. Yet according to research performed by the National Safety Council, the brain is unable to multitask effectively. Rather than complete two tasks simultaneously, the brain switches between one task and the other, leaving periods of time when the brain is not paying attention to driving at all. In fact, the NSC has found that drivers may be blind to as much as 50 percent of their driving environment when they are cognitively distracted.
Activities to avoid while driving
Texting and talking on a cellphone while driving are not the only activities that have been found to cause motor vehicle accidents. Distraction.gov lists the following activities as distractive tasks that motorists should avoid while driving:
- Eating and drinking
- Programming a navigation device
- Adjusting a CD player, radio or entertainment center
- Attending to passengers in the back seat of the car
- Picking up an item off of the floor
Engaging in a conversation with other passengers in the car can also cause disruption in a driver’s focus on the road. It only takes a few moments of distraction to cause a devastating car accident, which may result in traumatic injuries, extensive medical bills, property damage, pain and suffering.
Look for an attorney
More than 421,000 people were injured and another 3,328 people were killed in distracted driving car accidents in 2012, according to distraction.gov. If you have been injured or lost a loved one due to the negligence of another driver, it is crucial that you seek legal assistance from an experienced injury attorney.