Chicago is the birthplace of the cell phone. However, when the dangerous mix of driving and cell phones became apparent, the cell phone industry moved away from marketing to drivers, although this remains a common use. Although cell phones are the most deadly driving distraction, there are a number of other dangerous distractions that can take your eyes and attention off the road and cause a serious collision.
At Harvey L. Walner & Associates, Ltd., we know there is no excuse for drunk driving. Your personal injury lawsuit is not just about money, it is about holding the responsible party liable, easing your anxiety about finances and allowing you to recover quickly and completely.
Because driving requires your full attention, a driving distraction is anything that prevents you from operating your vehicle safely, or causes you to take your attention off the road. Driver distractions are a leading cause of automobile accidents and can be visual (taking your eyes off the road), cognitive (taking your mind off the road) or manual (taking your hands off the steering wheel).
Types of Driver Distractions
Driving distractions are most often under the driver's control. Few distractions are so urgent that a driver cannot opt to ignore or stop the distraction or pull over and stop driving until a distraction has passed. By exercising self discipline, you can keep your eyes and attention on the road and your hands on the steering wheel.
The most common distractions that lead to motor vehicle accidents include:
Cell phones: Whether you are talking making a call or checking your missed alerts, cell phones cause you to take your focus off the road. In January 2010, a new Illinois law went into effect that bans “composing, sending or reading electronic messages.” Electronic messages include texts and commands to access the Internet. While driving, if you must make a call or check a text message, pull over to the side of the road to use your cell phone.
Dropped items: Attempting to retrieve a dropped item is one of the deadliest mistakes you can make. Objects can become stuck in your pedals or lodged in between your seats, making them impossible to reach while driving. Dropped items are visual, cognitive and manual distractions. Never attempt to retrieve a dropped item; always pull safely over to pick up your object.
Reading: Attempting to read a map, directions, a magazine or any type of material takes your focus and your eyes off the road. If you are lost and need to read directions, pull onto the shoulder or at a gas station to determine where you need to go.
Fussy or unruly children: If a young child is crying or fussing, you will naturally shift your attention to them, in an effort to make them stop. Older children can be incredibly distracting if they are fighting, yelling and inopportune times or acting unruly in general. Before you go on a trip, be sure to talk to your kids about acceptable behavior inside the vehicle.
Read more about Cellphone Use and Car Accidents in Chicago
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