There are three general forms of distracted driving, and each is dangerous in its own right. These three major categories of distraction are manual distraction, visual distraction, and cognitive distraction. Manual distraction means that a driver’s hands are not on the wheel, where they should be, when driving. Visual distraction refers to a situation in which a driver is not looking at the roadway, usually because he or she is looking at something else in the vehicle or near that road. Cognitive distraction means that a person’s thoughts are on something besides the driving tasks at hand, whether they are lost in thought, talking to another person, or engaging in another task altogether while they are driving, like applying makeup. Each one of these distracted driving behaviors can cause significant hazards, and they are more commonly seen during the holiday season when people are thinking about a lot of things besides their driving.
Dangers of Distracted Driving
Distracted driving can lead to some very serious car accidents, and can increase the severity of an accident should one occur. Some of the greatest risks posed by distracted driving include the following:
- Cars veering into other lanes
- Drivers suddenly slamming on the brakes or the accelerator when distracted visually
- Drivers failing to slow down for sharp turns
- Failure to use turn signals to warn others of your actions
- Drivers disregarding road signs or warning signs
Each of these dangerous actions can result from distractions behind the wheel, and are often seen in holiday season traffic accidents. Sadly, a fun, exciting day can quickly become painful, frustrating, and costly if you are involved in an accident caused by a distracted driver. Many who are involved in this type of accident have to talk with a Champaign accident lawyer in order to learn more about their legal rights and options for pursuing compensation.
Road defects are a common cause of auto accidents in the United States. These problems arise due to faulty installation, poor design, and natural wear and tear. It is the state or municipality’s responsibility to take care of these problems should they pose a threat to motorists, and neglecting even the smallest defects could potentially lead to disastrous accidents.
It is the driver’s responsibility to stay attentive on the road and to drive safely; however not everything is under the driver’s control. Other motorists, car defects, and road defects are just among the many factors that can contribute to having an auto accident. With the deteriorating state of the roads because of constant use, even shoulder drop-offs can become a hazard for drivers.
Shoulder drop-offs offer a safe stopping place for those having problems with their vehicles, either to perform quick fixes, such as changing tires or making cargo adjustments, or to call a professional towing company in order to get qualified car repair service at a shop. Unfortunately, faulty construction work and defective repairs can make these drop-offs dangerous. Among the most common accidents that can happen on shoulder drop-offs are:
1. Roll-over accidents
2. Tire damages or tire blow-outs
3. Damages to the suspension system
4. Damages to the steering system, disabling your control over the vehicle
Not many people take defective or uneven shoulder drop-offs as dangerous places, but they can contribute to a serious auto accident which can cause severe injuries, not only to the driver of the vehicle, but also to the passengers and to other motorists are well. Since it is the government’s responsibility to take care of the roads and maintain them, they are the ones that can be held liable for an auto accident connected to road defects, including should drop-offs.
As a parent, one of the scariest and most uncertain times in your life is watching your child drive off alone for the first time. With over two million injuries and 40,000 fatalities every year due to car accidents, your child is at risk of being in an accident every time he or she gets behind the wheel. There are a number of dangers your child could encounter on the road, but one of the most serious and difficult one to deal with is driving in winter weather.
Not only does winter weather present a number of obstacles that are dangerous, but it also presents driving conditions our children may not have experience dealing with. Fortunately, you can be proactive and help your child understand what to do if he or she encounters snowy or icy road conditions.
Above all, try to prevent your child from driving during inclement winter weather if at all possible. However, if your child must drive during this weather, make sure he or she knows to:
- Decrease their speed significantly. Reports suggest that speeding is the single greatest contributing factor to accidents on icy or snowy roads.
- Allow three times more space than they normally would allow to stop
- Never slam on their brakes on icy or snowy surfaces
- Use lower gears and never use cruise control on icy roadways
- Let off the accelerator and steer into the direction of a skid until they regain control
Parents should also make sure their child’s vehicle is read to handle icy conditions. This means:
- Make sure windshield wipers work properly and headlights are cleaned and turned on
- Make sure the vehicle’s tires have an appropriate amount of tread on them. If you live in an area of the country with significant snow and ice you may consider getting your child chains for the tires.
One way you can help decrease the risk of a car accident for your child is to practice these techniques in a snowy, open parking lot so that they are better prepared if and when they have to deal with snow and ice on the open road.
Unfortunately, car accidents happen often when the weather gets extremely cold, icy, or rainy. If you have experienced an accident in inclement weather due to another driver on the road, you may want to reach out to a legal professional to learn about your options. To read more about different types of auto accidents, Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® discusses these issues in English and in Spanish.