The term ‘human factors’ in a vehicle collision includes all the things that drivers and passengers on the road do that may contribute to a car accident. One of the most common human factors in automobile crashes is distraction, and the number of people that are involved in these accidents is far too high. In 2013, everyone is tied to their smartphones and devices and new cars are being produced with all the bells and whistles, so it is very easy to become distracted if you aren’t careful. Our lawyers want to present you with the three most common types of distraction, so you can understand and be more aware of what activities to avoid when you are navigating Chicago streets and highways.
Manual Distraction: This happens any time a driver takes his or her hands off of the wheel. A manual distraction can happen as a result of texting, smartphone use, eating or drinking, grooming, using navigation systems, adjusting your music, or a multitude of other scenarios. This significantly reduces a driver’s control over their vehicle, as well as their ability to react to situations on the road. This could mean causing an accident, or acting as an impetus for other drivers to lose control in an attempt to avoid you.
Visual Distraction: A visual distraction occurs any time the driver takes their eyes off the road. Something as simple as sending a text message can take an individual’s eyes off of the road for as much as 4.6 seconds, effectively rendering them blind during that time. This can also happen when using maps and navigation systems, or reading a billboard on the side of a highway. While manual distraction reduces physical ability to react and control one’s vehicle, visual distractions might mean that a person doesn’t see a hazard at all, and this can result in accidents that are much more severe.
Cognitive Distraction: This means taking your mind off of driving. Cognitive distractions often overlap with visual and manual distractions, and some tasks, like sending a text, require visual, manual, and cognitive attention on the part of the driver. When you get behind the wheel of a car always remember that it is a huge responsibility, you are operating a machine with an incredible amount of mass, which has the ability to move very quickly and cause serious damage to others. Being mentally focused on the road is not a choice, it is an obligation, and the safety of everyone around you hangs in the balance. (Distraction.gov)
In 2011, careless and reckless actions on the part of distracted drivers resulted in 3,331 deaths, and nearly 400,000 injuries. Every attorney at our firm believes that the victims of distracted driving accidents should not be punished for collisions that they couldn’t avoid. If you have been injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver in Illinois, call us to discuss your potential accident lawsuit; we will work with you every step of the way to get you the compensation that you deserve.