Distracted driving is among the leading contributing factors to car accidents. In 2021, 678 people were killed in Louisiana in crashes because of some distraction.
Anything that takes a driver’s focus off the road constitutes a distraction. Here is what you should know about distracted driving:
Visual distractions are anything that takes a driver’s eyes off the road. Cell phone usage is a widely discussed example in this category. Louisiana has banned texting for all drivers and phone usage for drivers with an intermediate license or a Class E learner’s license. Although hands-free usage is allowed, it’s prohibited in school zones. Drivers should note that hands-free does not necessarily mean it’s safe.
Other visual distraction examples that can also lead to accidents include looking at billboards, eating, watching kids in the rear-view mirror and checking the GPS.
Manual distractions (taking hands off the wheel) are equally dangerous. Examples of activities that can lead to this include eating, searching for items under the seats, moving objects in the car, smoking, stopping fights between kids and so on.
Cognitive distractions are any activities that takes a driver’s mind off driving. These include focusing on the navigation system, engaging in a hands-free phone conversation, talking with passengers or listening to music.
Cognitive distraction can lead to “inattention blindness” – the failure to notice a visible hazard because a driver’s attention is elsewhere. A driver deep in conversation with passengers or on the phone may fail to see a red light or a pedestrian.
Distracted driving can lead to severe injuries and death. If a distracted driver hits you or your loved one, you should get legal help to know your rights and options.