Driving through Illinois can go from being rather uneventful to disastrous in a moment’s time if a distracted driver is in your midst. This is a growing problem throughout the nation, with more injuries and deaths caused by drivers not paying attention to the road than ever. When you drive, you’re obviously obligated to obey all traffic regulations and act with caution to keep yourself and those around you as safe as possible. There’s little you can do, however, about another person’s choices.
To increase your chances of avoiding a distracted driving motor vehicle collision, it may help to review some of the reasons motorists take their focus off the road. It also helps to have a plan in mind for what to do if you see a distracted driver in your vicinity. While you never want to perform any type of driving maneuver that might wind up creating an even more dangerous situation, you may be able to avert disaster if you think ahead and pay close attention to your surroundings.
Things drivers pay attention to when their eyes should be on the road
It literally takes only a fraction of a second for tragedy to occur on a busy highway, at an intersection (which is typically a particularly high-risk location) or a back country road. Although types of distractions vary, regardless of the root cause, the point is: All distracted drivers are focusing their attention elsewhere when they should be concentrating on driving and arriving safely to their destinations. Here are some of the top causes of driving distractions:
- Reaching: Whether reaching for a cell phone, cigarette lighter, radio dial or something dropped onto the car floor, it’s very easy to lose control of steering when trying to do two different things at once.
- Daydreaming: People who let their thoughts wander while they’re driving place themselves and others at risk for injury. It takes concentrated effort to keep your thoughts and attention on the road and surrounding traffic while driving.
- Use of electronic devices: Many states now have laws against using hand-held cell phones and other electronic devices while driving. Those who continue to exhibit such dangerous behaviors are often the causes of many serious (and fatal) injuries to others when their distractions result in collisions.
- Eating and drinking: Everyone has to eat. Everyone gets thirsty; however, it’s best to confine these activities to times other than while operating motor vehicles.
Smoking-related activities, interacting with other vehicle occupants and looking at off-road scenes are other major distractions that may cause drivers to wreck.
What to do when faced with distracted driving problems
If you witness someone texting while driving, a vehicle weaving side to side, or brake lights functioning at inappropriate times that don’t coincide with traffic flow, you may want to try to distance yourself from the situation. It may be possible to take a next exit or otherwise safely pull to a stop off the road, then report the incident to authorities. If an Illinois car accident caused by a distracted driver leads to your injury, you may need extensive medical care and other forms of support to recover.
Such situations are also highly emotionally traumatic, often having lasting negative effects on a person’s overall well-being. The law allows you to file a personal injury claim against any party deemed responsible for your suffering. To discuss a particular situation, you can schedule a consultation with an experienced accident injury attorney.