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Distracted Driving: One Common Cause of Car Accidents

The frequency by which car accidents occur in the United States is becoming more and more alarming in recent years. According to the website of Spiros Law, P.C., data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that more than 6 million motor vehicle crashes were reported in the year 2007. For the following year, around 34,000 car accident fatalities were reported.

One of the most common reasons behind why these accidents continue to occur is distracted driving. For the year 2013, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 3,154 fatal vehicular crashes were caused by distracted driving. In particular, data shows that drivers in these cases were mostly focused on texting or using their mobile phones while driving their vehicles.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC generally defines distracted driving as instances when a driver is operating are or her vehicle while doing another activity at the same time. It is considered potentially dangerous because it causes a driver to split his or her attention between two different things. The CDC identifies 3 different situations that describe what happens when a driver is distracted behind the wheel. Visual distraction refers to situations when drivers take their eyes off the road. Meanwhile, manual distraction refers to scenarios when drivers take their hands off the stirring wheel of the car. Lastly, cognitive distraction is used to refer to situations when a driver becomes absent minded while operating a vehicle. The use of mobile phones while driving is a combination of all these three different kinds of distracted behavior.

Distracted driving may seem like a minor infraction compared to serious traffic violations such as speeding and driving while under the influence (DUI). Still, it’s worth noting that it can still lead to losing control of one’s vehicle and unintentionally causing a collision to occur. According to the website of the Oklahoma car accident attorneys from Abel Law Firm, distracted driving can cause victims to suffer long-term consequences resulting from injuries like brain trauma and whiplash.