Common Driving Distractions that Result in Car Accidents
As of now, authorities from various countries and international conventions have not produced a concrete definition of the term “driver’s distraction” relating it as to the causes of Car Accidents. There are diverse views and definition propounded but no definite meaning has been found on the term.
By then, the appreciation of the concept appeared to be jurisdictional, that means, each country will sort out their own definition of the term including its parameters and causes.
Despite the relative views of authorities, a common end relates that driver’s distraction can definitely cause Car Accidents or highway crashes.
In the United States, driver’s distraction is defined (as per guidelines from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) as “anything that diverts the driver’s attention from the primary tasks of navigating the vehicle and responding to critical events. Put it differently, a distraction is anything that takes your eyes off the road (visual distraction), your mind off the road (cognitive distraction), or your hands off the wheel (manual distraction).
Driver’s distraction can come in various forms but the most identified major sources that brought detrimental effect on a number of critical driving measures were as follows, in no particular order, thus:
- Talking/ listening/ dialing/ texting on cellular phone
- Eating or drinking
- Grooming activities
- Tending to children or pets
- Note taking
- Moving objects in vehicle /items brought into vehicle
- Using device/object/ controls integral to vehicle
- Outside person, object or event
- Adjusting in-vehicle control such as radio, cassette, CD, mp3 players and climate controls
- Other occupants including conversing with passengers
- Smoking related
Formally, driving is a task that requires full attention and focus freed from unnecessary distractions. It connotes responsibility, in the sense that, every time a driver gets behind the wheel, he or she has the obligation to keep away from troubles of the road. His/her first responsibility is road safety.
In matters of law, driver’s distraction when unjustified, can relatively take the form of negligence on the part of the driver. In that, whenever an accident happens because of the driving inattention, the driver can be held liable for all the consequences that result from it.
A constitutive tort case, specifically a personal injury case can be had against the erring driver who caused the traffic accident. This will be the primary avenue of the victims of the mishaps in ventilating their injury compensation and liability pursuit against the negligent actor.
Possibly, the liability of the erring driver would cover injury compensation for those that were injured including related damages that are determined by the court, such as medical costs, expenses for rehabilitation, and whatever necessary expenses for surgical procedures. In addition, whenever death results, the driver can be held liable for compensation for loss of consortium and other forms of damages to the surviving families of the helpless victims.
As an endnote, driver’s distraction plays a significant factor in traffic crashes. As we drive and traverse the road, keep in mind that we have a stake in keeping our roads safe and accident free. Thus, let us be more responsible and be focused in driving.