AAA Officials Study Driver Distractions and Accident Risks

Most of us drive every single day of our lives. For many, it has become a task that we hardly put any thought into — especially into the dangers that are involved with every turn we make. On the flip side, car insurance companies are aware of every little risk and they’re adjusting their policies accordingly, according to MSN.
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In addition to outdoor distractions, there are also very dangerous hazards in your own car, according to a recent study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

Our car accident lawyers in Charlotte know driver distractions are some of the most common forms of dangers that a driver faces each and every day. AAA officials looked at various forms of “cognitive distractions” that cause drivers’ eyes to wander. They looked at these distractions and ranked them on a safety scale. One of the most alarming findings in this research is that in-car technologies that are actually designed to make driving safer fail to do so.

Risks Studied by AAA:

-Listening to a book on tape: Minimal risk
-Talking to a passenger: Moderate risk
-Hand-held cellphone use: Moderate risk
-Hands-free cellphone use: Moderate risk
-Speech-to-text systems: Extensive risk
Participants of the study were asked to drive while performing each of these tasks separately. Officials looked at the level of distraction by measuring their head and eye movements, brainwave activity, following distance and brake reaction times.

According to distraction.gov, there were more than 3,320 people killed in distraction-related car accidents in the U.S. in 2012. An estimated 420,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver as well. The number of people injured in these kinds of accidents showed a near 10 percent increase from the number of people injured in 2011.

Some activities — such as texting — take the driver’s attention away from driving more frequently and for longer periods than other distractions. Younger, inexperienced drivers under the age of 20 may be at increased risk; they have the highest proportion of distraction-related fatal crashes.

With the New Year, we’re asking drivers to renew their vow to safe driving. Keep your hands on the wheel, your eyes on the road and your mind on getting to where you’re going safely. It’s a small move that could save lives. Make adjustments before your get underway. Address vehicle systems like your GPS, seats, mirrors, climate controls and sound systems before hitting the road. Decide on your route and check traffic conditions ahead of time.

Teach your young children that driving is an important job and that you must concentrate when you are behind the wheel. Buckle up your children properly. Give them distractions–books, games, or other appropriate toys to occupy their time. If you need to attend to your children, pull over to a safe place. Don’t try to handle children while you are driving. If you need to engage in an activity other than driving while you’re behind the wheel, make sure that you pull over safely and come to a complete stop before doing so.

If you have been injured in a car accident, contact the Carolina injury lawyers at the Lee Law Offices today by calling 800-887-1965.

More Blog Entries:

New Study: Teens Start Safe, But Distractions Come Quickly, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog, January 1, 2014

Car Defects a Hidden Threat in Carolina Traffic Collisions, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog, December 16, 2013

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