People often think of distracted driving as actions that are entirely unnecessary. This is why this kind of conduct seems irresponsible and negligent. For example, texting and driving is a common type of distraction. Drivers should wait to read or respond to texts until they arrive at their destination. But many of them become impatient or struggle with addiction to their phone, so they check the phone in the car. This can lead to severe and even fatal car accidents.
However, distracted driving doesn’t simply boil down to drivers who text while they’re behind the wheel. Many things that people do not consider negligent or irresponsible are still forms of distraction. A few tech-centered examples are explored below, but at the end of the day, anything that takes a driver’s mind off of operating their vehicle, their hands off the wheel and/or their eyes off the road is a form of distraction that can lead to crashes.
Using a navigation system
Using a GPS or some other type of navigation system is distracting. Some vehicles have a GPS built into the dash. In other vehicles, drivers use the GPS on their phone and pair it to the car with Bluetooth. Driving with the aid of a GPS is very common and safer than trying to read a paper map, but it can still take a driver’s attention off of the road.
Changing the radio station
Similarly, many people listen to music in the car. Reaching to change the radio station is a distraction that could lead to an accident, regardless of how common this behavior is. These days, many drivers may also fiddle with their phones as they try to open a new music app, choose a new song or set up a playlist.
Adjusting the controls
In some cases, drivers simply have to adjust the car itself so that they can drive properly. Maybe someone else was driving before, so the new driver needs to move the seat forward and move the steering wheel up. Or perhaps they need to adjust their mirrors so that they can see their blind spots. It’s best for drivers to do this in the driveway before they even leave the house (or wherever they happen to be), but many people will make these adjustments once they are already on the road.
Unfortunately, any of these distractions could lead to avoidable accidents. Those who have been injured need to know how to seek compensation from those who willfully engaged in distracted behavior and caused them harm.