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Distracted driving isn’t just about cell phones

| Apr 17, 2020 | Personal Injury |

When New Jersey residents hear about distracted driving, the first thing that comes to mind is likely an image of someone texting and driving.

Indeed, there’s a lot of truth behind this common perception. Despite every state, including New Jersey, having some sort of ban on texting and driving, many people still do it.

In fact, while one survey found that over 37% of those asked acknowledge that using one’s device while trying to drive is dangerous, over 28% said that they engaged in texting and driving anyway.

Moreover, many people said that they felt a strong sense of social pressure to respond to work-related communication, although there were significant differences depending on whether a person owned an Apple phone or an Android.

Other phone-related distractions

However, people frequently get distracted by other types of features on their phones as well.

For instance, many people admitted to using their phones to take pictures or check social media websites while driving. A handful of people even admitted to watching TV or movies during their trip.

The survey apparently did not ask separately about sending and receiving emails.

Of course, even trying to talk on a cell phone can be distracting, especially without hands-free technology.

Distractions and other technology

Other forms of technology in a car also cause distractions frequently. For instance, tuning the radio or adjusting the climate control forces a driver to focus on something besides driving.

Technology like automatic windows, cruise control, adjustable seats and the like also cause distractions frequently.

As cars get more and more sophisticated, New Jersey and the other state may see more accidents occurring because a driver lost focus because of in-car technology, even technology that is supposed to make driving safer.

Other distractions

But distracted driving often isn’t caused by technology at all. For instance, smoking and even the common practice of having a bite to eat or drink while driving are common distractions.

In fact, among the five most common causes of distracted driving, three have nothing to do with technology.

For instance, drivers reportedly have their attention turned by an object outside of the vehicle, including the aftermath of a collision. Passengers, like noisy kids, are also distractions, and the most common distraction is a driver’s own mind.

After all, people too often daydream or start thinking about other things while driving. Before they know it, they cause an accident.

No matter the source of the distraction, inattentive driving is always preventable. Drivers have a responsibility to make sure that their environment is free of distractions and that they have their hands on the wheel and their eyes and minds on the road.

Should they fail in this responsibility and cause an accident, their victims may be able to recover compensation.