Distracted driving: 2nd most common crash caused by driver error

Distracted driving is a big problem in North Carolina. In fact, it is the second leading cause of crashes caused by driver error. It accounts for 19.7% of these crashes. Only speeding, which leads to 33.3% of these crashes, ranks above it.

Because of the prevalence of distracted driving crashes in this state, there are specific laws that address the problem. For example, all drivers are forbidden from emailing or texting while they drive. Failing to obey this law can lead to a $100 fine on a first offense. Drivers who are under 18 can't even use the hands-free options that are available.

Many causes of distracted driving

Some individuals become so focused on cellphones when they discuss distracted driving that they forget there are other causes. For example, it is legal to eat while you drive in North Carolina, however, this isn't a good idea because drivers should have two hands on the wheel. When you eat something, you take a hand off the wheel and your mind focuses on eating. You might even look at the food instead of the road.

Drivers should keep their full attention on driving. This includes keeping their eyes on the road, hands on the steering wheel and mind on making decisions about their driving duties. When any of these three is missing, they are putting other people at risk of being involved in a crash.

Even short distractions are dangerous

It takes an average of just under 5 seconds to check a text message. In that short time, your vehicle will traverse the length of a regulation football field if you're driving at 55 miles per hour. Many accidents can occur in that vast distance.

Even if you are driving slower than that, you can still cause serious damage to other vehicles and people if you aren't paying attention. It's especially important to remain vigilant when there are others around you, including motorcyclists, pedestrians and bicyclists.

All drivers matter

You can only do your part to keep the roads safe. It's possible that another driver might cause a distracted driving crash even if you're watching the road as you should. If you're the victim of one of these wrecks, make sure you contact the police to file a report. You should also seek medical care if you need it. Seeking compensation is possible, but be prepared to show that the other driver was negligent and that contributed to the wreck and your damages.

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