The dangers of distracted driving are not new to motorists in Miami and throughout the US, claiming the lives of more than 2,800 people every year – including drivers, passengers, pedestrians, bicyclists, and other road users. Motorists who text, talk on the phone, post to social media, and engage in other cell phone use remain a threat. However, it is worth noting that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) classifies many other activities under the umbrella of “distracted driving.” Any activity that diverts attention away from operating the vehicle could be a factor in a car accident.
As such, you should be aware of numerous forms of distracted driving that do NOT involve cell phone use. You can avoid Miami car accidents by avoiding these activities yourself – and steering clear if you observe other motorists engaging in risky behaviors behind the wheel.
Eating and Drinking
It is common for motorists to grab a quick bite or beverage when driving, but consuming a snack affects drivers in three key ways:
- Visually, when they are looking at food instead of the road;
- Manually, since they need hands to eat and drink; and,
- Cognitively, where a driver’s mind is focused on refreshments and not traffic conditions.
Interacting With Passengers
Conversation can interfere with motorists’ attention when the discussion involves deep topics, but often the biggest distraction is other types of interaction. Children bickering, losing items, or spilling food can be distracting, especially when the only adult to manage the situation is the driver. Even four-legged passengers can interfere with a motorist’s capabilities.
Searching for Items
You no doubt have the urge to fetch something from a purse, bag, or the center console of your vehicle, so you can be sure many other drivers do the same. The problem is that searching for items affects motorists in the three ways mentioned above. If you see arms flailing in the vehicle ahead of you, use extra caution since the driver could be trying to grab a loose phone, wallet, or lip balm.
Adjusting the Radio
Alone, listening to music may not be such a distraction. However, if you are trying to change the channel, fast forward through a streaming song, or find your favorite artist, your mind may be on something other than safely operating your vehicle.
The morning commute seems like a perfect opportunity to get ready for work and save time, but combing hair, putting on makeup, and performing other grooming tasks is unsafe. Grooming is a common factor in crashes, so allow extra time instead of trying to get ready in traffic.
Our Miami Car Accidents Lawyers Will Protect Your Rights
As you can see from the above factors, any activity can be just as dangerous as texting while driving if it interferes with a motorist’s attention span. For more information on your legal remedies as the victim of a distracted driving accident, please contact Gerson & Schwartz, PA at our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach, FL. We can set up a no-cost consultation to learn more about your circumstances and advise you on your options.