Despite its growing prevalence and the number of programs to help raise awareness, distracted driving can be difficult to understand. These FAQs can help you realize just how immense the potential is for disaster when you’re distracted behind the wheel.
Distracted driving has become a more serious epidemic than drunk driving. More people are killed in accidents involving distracted drivers every year than DUI, and this rate is only increasing. While a number of authorities have launched awareness programs concerning distracted driving, including the federal government, many people still do not realize just what constitutes distraction behind the wheel or the consequences of those actions. These FAQs can help you understand the situation and what you should and should not do.
1. Is eating behind the wheel a distraction?
Yes, eating behind the wheel is distracting because it takes both your eyes and your mental focus off of the task at hand, which is driving and paying attention to those around you.
2. Who is most likely to be distracted behind the wheel?
Teens and young drivers are the most likely to be distracted while driving. However, the problem is not one limited to youth alone. A significant number of adults regularly engage in distracting behaviors as well. According to a federal study, there are over 800,000 people behind the wheel using their cell phones at any given time.
3. What is distracted driving, anyway?
The use government’s Distraction.gov website defines distracted driving as, “any time you take your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel and your mind off your primary task: driving safely. Any non-driving activity you engage in is a potential distraction and increases your risk of crashing.”
4. Is distracted driving illegal under federal law?
No, it is not. This type of behavior is actually regulated by state law. There are many states currently considering legislation that would make distracted driving a crime and punishable with fines, revocation of drivers’ licenses and even jail time. Congress is also considering legislation that would apply in some instances, where the state law did not govern.
5. Texting isn’t really that dangerous, is it?
Many people are under the misapprehension that texting is less dangerous than talking on the phone while behind the wheel because it’s faster. This is wrong. You are 23 times more likely to be in a car crash if you are texting behind the wheel.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a distracted driver, you need the help of an established law firm to ensure your rights are upheld in court.