Many drivers think that they are safe additions to the road: they don’t drink and drive, they follow the speed limit, and they wear their seat belts. But many drivers overlook one of the most important aspects of being a safe driver and preventing car accidents and car accident injuries: never engaging in distracted driving.

Although many drivers might be able to name the more obvious forms of distracted driving, such as eating in the car or texting a friend while behind the wheel, a majority of Americans don’t realize that distracted driving takes many forms. Any time that you take your eyes off of the road, your hands off of the wheel, or your mind from the act of

driving, you are engaging in distracted driving.
Here are the most common forms of distracted driving:

  • Talking on a cell phone, text messaging, or using a mobile device.
  • Looking at a map, a list of directions, or a GPS.
  • Eating or drinking.
  • Changing the radio station, using an MP3 player, or using a CD player.
  • Grooming or applying make up.
  • Talking with other passengers or talking on a hands-free device.
  • Tending to children in the back seat.
  • Concentrating on your thoughts instead of the road – or driving when emotionally distraught.

It is difficult to know how many accidents are caused each year by distracted driving. You can’t test for distracted driving after a car accident like you can with alcohol and drugs, and many drivers won’t admit that they were not paying attention to the road in the seconds before an accident. Still, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration believes that at least 20 percent of all car accidents involve distracted driving, and that over 5,000 people were killed in traffic accidents that were caused by distracted drivers.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a traffic accident and distracted driving was a cause, you should speak to a Missouri personal injury and wrongful death attorney today.

Jill S. Bollwerk
Helping St. Louis area residents with personal injury, workers' compensation & insurance appeals/disputes.