Driving can be fun, but many times it’s something of a chore. While it’s necessary for us to get from point A to point B, there are a lot of other things we could be doing during a commute or in between our errands.
In fact, many motorists try to combine other activities with driving to simply attempt to get more done during the day. Unfortunately, trying to stuff additional tasks into your drive can end in disaster. As a St. Louis car accident lawyer, I have seen plenty of car accidents caused by distractions behind the wheel.
Here is a list of some of the most common. We’ve all done at least one of these while driving, but maybe even all of them. How many are you guilty of?
Speeding can end up costing you big – and not just in ticket fines. Half of all drivers surveyed by AAA admitted going at least 15 miles per hour over the posted speed limit on a highway. When you consider that speed plays a role in almost 10,000 traffic fatalities every year, it makes sense to slow down. Your life and safety are not worth getting to your destination a few minutes early.
Check out AAA here to read more facts about speeding.
2. Not Wearing a Seat Belt
If you are age 50 or older, you might have grown up not wearing a seat belt. For many decades, seat belts were generally regarded as an optional item in a vehicle. Today, however, we have plenty of research that tells us how important seat belts really are when it comes to vehicle safety.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explicitly states: “Wearing a seat belt is the most effective way to prevent death and serious injury in a crash.” Of the 33,000 people killed in auto accidents in 2009, more than half were not wearing a seat belt.
Visit the CDC to read more about seat belts here.
3. Driving Drowsy
Sleep deprivation is a major problem in the United States. The National Sleep Foundation has compiled a lot of useful information about how lack of sleep contributes to a staggering amount of car accidents. Its drowsy driving website says that 100,000 car crashes every year can be traced back to driver fatigue. Researchers estimate that lack of sleep or insufficient sleep causes 1,550 fatalities and 71,000 injuries each year.
4. Eating and Driving
It seems pretty innocuous – eating and driving, but surprisingly it’s an issue. One study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) claims that a whopping 80 percent of all car accidents and 65 percent of near misses are caused by drivers eating behind the wheel. The 2009 study also ranked the worst foods and drinks to consume while driving. Coffee took the top spot as the most dangerous, followed by soup, tacos, and hamburgers.
5. Texting and Driving
Smartphones are pretty much woven into every area of our lives, and they don’t look like they’re going anywhere soon. Unfortunately, they are a major cause of car accidents.
A Pew survey reports that 40 percent of all American teens surveyed say they have been in a vehicle when a driver used a cell phone “in a way that put people in danger.” If you are a parent, it is important to educate your teen driver about the dangers of texting behind the wheel. Just a few seconds’ distraction can end in a serious or catastrophic accident. It is also important for parents to put their own phones down when they drive, since young people are likely to copy what they see.
Get Help from a St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer
If you have been hurt in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, don’t shoulder the burden of injuries and property damage alone.
Your first step should be contacting a St. Louis car accident lawyer about your case. They can provide insight and answers, while determining the best route for your case.
Visit here to call a St. Louis car accident lawyer today.