If you take the same long road to work every morning, you may be always on the lookout for anything to make the trip more interesting. Perhaps you enjoy a political talk show on the radio, a favorite music station or an audio book when you drive. Unfortunately, many others in your situation are also looking for something to distract themselves from the tedious morning or afternoon commute.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reports that the two seconds directed at a radio dial, cell phone or other distraction while driving result in 14 percent of the accidents on U.S. roads. Since distracted driving is a worldwide problem, not just limited to Oklahoma highways, safety advocates look to any research that may help them eliminate the problem.
Who is paying attention?
A recent study conducted in Norway may shed some light on the kinds of people who are distracted while sharing the road with you. Those who drive frequently are one group that the study pinpointed. However, after compiling the data from a questionnaire presented to hundreds of individuals old enough to drive, researchers found several other categories of drivers who seem prone to distraction, including:
- Young men
- Those with anxiety disorders
- Those who believe distractions are unavoidable
Surprisingly, there is still a population of people who feel there is nothing wrong with driving while distracted. These drivers have not yet recognized the social stigma associated with distracted driving that safety advocates are trying to instill in drivers of all ages. You are likely aware that most states have banned texting while driving, and more are adding the use of handheld devices to their lists of forbidden behaviors behind the wheel.
Cell phones are not the only distraction.
While the use of handheld devices has been the focus of much distracted driving legislation and public awareness, distraction goes much further than cell phone use. You may know some drivers who are easily distracted by other people in their vehicle, navigational devices or instruments on their display panels. Objects and activity outside the vehicle can also be a distraction. It would be difficult to legislate everything that could take a driver’s attention from the road.
The authors of the study conclude that the only way to eliminate distracted driving is for drivers to control their impulses. If you have suffered injuries in an accident with a distracted driver, you may find it frustrating that the other driver was unable to resist the distraction that led to the crash. However, you are fortunate that there are legal resources to assist you in examining your options for pursuing compensation for your pain and suffering.