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What makes distracted driving so dangerous?

On Behalf of | Sep 8, 2023 | Car And Truck Accidents

By now, everybody in La Jolla knows that distracted driving is reckless and puts innocent people in mortal danger. If not, they should at least know that it’s against the law in California to drive while distracted. But distracted drivers are still a menace.

Affects perception and reaction

While the anti-distracted driving statute has had some effect, distracted driving is still the cause of many deaths and injuries in violent collisions. The problem is that while driving can feel like second nature with enough experience, it is a complex task requiring careful attention and focus. Anything that takes some of a motorist’s attention off the road reduces their ability to notice stoplights, road signs, other vehicles, pedestrians and everything else on the road. Even a few seconds of distraction affects a driver’s perception and reaction times. So they often don’t notice they are heading for a crash, and when they do they cannot start hitting the brakes or swerving away until it’s too late.

A major contributor to car accident deaths, injuries

This is a nationwide safety problem. In 2012, the NHTSA estimated that distracted driving was a factor in 18 percent of car accidents in which somebody was injured and 10 percent of fatal wrecks. In other words, if every American kept their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road, traffic deaths would drop 10 percent and serious injuries by almost a fifth.

Like other forms of negligent driving, distracted driving is easily preventable. Except in emergencies, it is virtually never necessary to use your phone while driving. The same goes for eating, putting on makeup, brushing your hair or teeth or any of the other things irresponsible people do to distract themselves behind the wheel. By deciding to neglect their duty toward their fellow drivers and passengers, distracted drivers become responsible for any injuries they cause.