Distracted Driving Is Caused By More Than Smart Phones
Distracted driving crash rates have risen with the increased use of smartphones over the last decade and longer. As a result, many people assume that the majority of collisions caused by distracted driving involve a motorist who is talking or texting on a phone, or otherwise using a phone to look up information on the internet or listen to music, or program an address in a built-in GPS. Certainly, smartphones are linked to many distracted driving wrecks in Shreveport and throughout Louisiana, but it is critical to know that there are many other causes of distracted driving, as well.
What do you need to know about the causes of distracted driving crashes that do not involve phone use? Our Shreveport distracting driving injury attorneys can provide you with more information.
Distractions Behind the Wheel Take Many Forms
If you were injured in a collision that appears to have been caused by a distracted driver, it is critical to know that you may be able to hold a motorist accountable for distracted driving even if they were not using a phone at the time of the wreck. To be sure, distracted driving crashes happened before motorists had smartphones. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), “while cell phones and navigation devices often are the culprit when it comes to distracted driving, conventional distractions such as interacting with passengers and eating also contribute to crashes.”
The NSC underscores that distracted driving takes a wide range of forms. It “can affect drivers in different ways and can be categorized as visual, manual, and cognitive distraction.”
You May Not Realize a Motorist Was Distracted and Negligent If You Assume Phones Are the Only Source of Distracted Driving
If you fail to acknowledge that distracted driving involves far more activities or behaviors beyond smartphone use for talking or texting, you may not realize that another motorist was responsible for your injuries due to distracted driving. To prove distracted driving in cases where there is no record of cell phone use, it will be essential to seek witness testimony and other evidence to support the fact that the other driver was negligent. You might not even realize that you should be seeking this information if you assume that phone use is the only cause of a distracted driving wreck.
Know How Visual, Manual, and Cognitive Distractions Can Show Themselves
As the NSC explains, distractions behind the wheel can be of a visual, manual, or cognitive nature. What does this mean in practice? In short, a wreck can result from any behavior behind the wheel that takes the driver’s eyes away from the road, takes the driver’s hands off the wheel, or takes the driver’s mental focus away from the road. As such, there is a wide range of distractions that can cause crashes and for which the driver may be liable. Some examples include but are not limited to:
- Eating while driving;
- Talking to another vehicle occupant while driving;
- Listening to music or a podcast while driving and focusing on the song or the story being narrated;
- Thinking deeply about a problem at work or home; or
- Applying makeup while driving.
Contact a Shreveport Distracted Driving Attorney
If you have questions about whether you are eligible to file a distracted driving claim, you should get in touch with one of the experienced Shreveport distracted driving lawyers at Rice & Kendig, LLC for advice.