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Distracted Driving: An Epidemic on Our Roadways

Arkansas auto accident attorneyWe have more distractions than ever before in our daily lives. The pervasive spread of technology in the form of smartphones has contributed to most of our distractions, but many of the cars we drive today also have numerous features that have ways of distracting us while driving.

A recent article in Psychology Today puts distractions in three categories: visual, manual and cognitive.

A driver is visually distracted whenever they take their eyes off the road, while a manual distraction occurs whenever the driver takes their hands off the steering wheel. Cognitive distractions occur whenever a driver is mentally distracted, whether they are overtired, hungry or just simply checked out.

Regardless of how a distraction occurs, however, it is dangerous for everyone on the road. According to a 2006 research study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), almost 80 percent of all crashes and 65 percent of near-crashes in the United States were due to distracted driving.

The Psychology Today story also stated that more recent studies have found that distracted driving was a factor in one out of every six fatal crashes in the United States.

Leading factors in distracted driving accidents

Smartphones are visually, manually and cognitively distracting, which is why many U.S. states have taken steps to ban their use while driving.

Even still, many people use their phones to text, play music and use GPS navigation applications, and do other things while driving. Using the phone is among the more dangerous distractions for drivers and a 2010 study by the American Journal of Public Health found that phone use increased the rate of car accidents by 23 percent.

Younger drivers who text while driving account for roughly one in five car accidents where texting is a contributing factor.

To make matters even more challenging, many car manufacturers have begun producing cars with interactive directional displays (many of which can be visually distracting, as well.)

Why hire an attorney?

If you or a loved one was injured in a crash with a distracted driver in northeast Arkansas, the first thing you should do after seeking medical care is to consult with an attorney who can help guide you through the steps you need to take to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

With over 40 years of experience, the McDaniel Law Firm is ready to represent you and will not rest until we have achieved the results that our clients deserve. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.

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