In recent years, there has been a surge of public awareness campaigns helping to warn people about the risks of distracted driving. Distracted driving often involves people engaging with a smartphone or mobile device instead of focusing on the road in front of them. This takes their eyes off of the road, as well as their hands off the wheel. More importantly, their brain is distracted from the task at hand.
Anyone can fall prey to the temptation posed by the ping of an incoming email or text message. In a culture that demands people be constantly available, waiting to read and respond to a message can feel stressful. That stress is minor compared to the weight of knowing you caused a crash. Unfortunately, while people do understand that there are risks involved with looking at a screen instead of through the windshield, far too many still decide to do that exact thing.
Distracted driving has something in common with drunk driving
Obviously, both distracted driving and drunk driving put other people at risk on the road. These practices also increase the number of serious and even fatal crashes that occur each year. That isn't the similarity this article aims to highlight.
Instead, the other interesting similarity between distracted and impaired drivers is that they seem to believe they are not affected by the dangerous behaviors that they engage in while on the road.
A recent study of drivers showed that while the vast majority of them know that texting and driving is dangerous, they believe that they alone can safely text and remain in control of their vehicle. This attitude is frighteningly similar to the feeling of confidence inebriated drivers often have before getting behind the wheel. They are quite sure that they will be able to manage their commute back home, regardless of the statistical evidence to the contrary.
Texting at the wheel puts everyone on the road at risk
People all over get hurt every day because someone else was looking down at a phone instead of up at the road. While you can take steps to avoid the temptation of a mobile device while driving, you can't control what other drivers do or don't do. You could still be at risk of a distraction-related collision.
If you experience a collision with a driver in New York whom you believe was distracted, be sure to inform law enforcement. Letting police know of your suspicions is a critical step to take after a crash. You should also follow up in the days and weeks after the crash to review the police report and see if any documentation supports your suspicions.