Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of accidents in Sugar Land. According to the CDC, nine people in the United States are killed every day in crashes involving distracted driving. In Texas, in particular, distracted driving is a serious problem. Per the Texas Department of Transportation, nearly one in five crashes in Texas were caused by distracted driving in 2021. Of these accidents, 431 people died, and 2,934 were seriously injured.
What is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving includes any activity that takes the driver’s attention away from driving. There are three main types of distracted driving:
1. Visual: taking your eyes off the road;
2. Manual: taking your hands off the wheel; and
3. Cognitive: taking your mind off driving
Safe driving takes complete concentration. Taking your mind away from driving for even a few seconds can result in a deadly accident.
What are the Top Causes of Distracted Driving in Sugar Land?
Below is a list of the top ten causes of distracted driving in Sugar Land, Texas.
1. Talking on the phone. Talking on the phone is one of the most common causes of distracted driving. It is unsafe even when using hands-free technology.
2. Texting or Using Phone. We have become conditioned to always be on our cell phones, but texting, emailing, checking social media, or otherwise using your phone takes your eyes off of the road and can end up causing an accident. Even reading a short text can take up to four seconds. During that time, your vehicle could travel up to 80 feet when going at a speed of 55 mph.
3. Talking with a passenger. Even conversations with another passenger can take a driver’s focus away from the road. Conservations should be put on hold when road conditions are difficult, or traffic patterns are changing. It may seem rude not to participate in a conversation, but your safety and the safety of your passengers must come first.
4. Moving objects in the car. It is often our first instinct to try and grab something that is slipping off a seat or rolling around the floor of the vehicle. But reaching to move an item while driving is very risky. Not only are your eyes taken off the road, but at least one hand is off the wheel. If you need to rearrange items or pick something up, you should pull over and stop your car.
5. Adjusting the radio or climate controls. Scanning the radio or manipulating the climate controls to find the perfect temperature takes your focus away from driving. It may seem like a small thing, but it can end up causing a serious accident. You should set up your radio and temperature before you start your trip.
6. Adjust vehicle components and controls. It is critical that your car mirrors and seat are positioned correctly for safe driving. However, adjusting these components should be completed before your start driving. If you forget to check before you are on the road, you should pull over to adjust them.
7. Eating or drinking. With our busy lives, it can be tempting to eat or drink while you are driving. But eating or drinking while driving requires one-handed driving and means that you have to deal with dropping food or beverages spilling.
8. Using your GPS. We have become dependent on GPS to help us navigate from point A to B. Many people wait to set up their GPS until they are already driving, and even taking their eyes away from the road to view the directions can be a distraction.
9. Applying makeup. Sometimes people view their drive as the opportunity to put the finishing touches on their makeup. However, putting on lipstick, applying mascara, combing hair, and other grooming activities take your hands off the wheel and your eyes off the road.
10. Rubbernecking or not looking at the road. It can be challenging not to look when you pass an accident or see something unexpected on the side of the road. You should try your best to keep your eyes on the road so you do not increase your risk of getting into an accident.
If You Have Been Injured by a Distracted Driver, Call Your Sugar Land Car Accident Attorney
Adam Capetillo is an experienced Sugar Land personal injury lawyer passionate about protecting the rights of his clients. He serves clients in the Sugar Land area and throughout Fort Bend County. If you have been injured in a car accident, we encourage you to call our office today at (346) 249-5544 to schedule a free consultation.