Distracted Driving: Actions and Consequences

a man using his phone while driving

When you hear the term distracted driving, what do you think? Most people think of texting or using a cellphone to make a phone call. Distracted driving is more than cellphone usage behind the wheel though. Anything that steals your focus from the road is a distraction.

What Constitutes Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is anything that allows you to take your focus from the act of controlling your vehicle. Eating, searching for a GPS location, changing the volume on the radio, or any other activity you do while also moving is a distraction. If you drive while distracted, it can have serious consequences.

When driving, it’s best to remain focused on the road ahead and your surroundings. Remaining alert will help you prevent an accident. The primary method of distracted driving that most people recognize as dangerous is texting.

Distracted driving has been recognized as a serious problem by lawmakers, resulting in many states banning cellphone use while driving, adopting hands-free only rules, or taking other action to curb the use of cell phones while driving. Individuals who are found to be engaging in distracted driving can face a variety of serious consequences.  (1)

Consequences of Distracted Driving

The laws vary by state. Some states have enacted monetary fines for drivers caught driving while distracted. Repeat offenses can lead to more fines or potentially time in jail. Talk with a car accident attorney Naples to learn about the legal ramifications of driving while distracted.

Vehicle damage, injuries, or worse, death are the most severe results of distracted driving. Distracted driving also has the potential to lead to an accident. Fines or jail time are inconveniences. A car accident attorney in Naples can educate you regarding the possibility of legal action stemming from a distracted driving accident.

Many people are constantly in possession of their cellphone. The need to continually use the cellphone is becoming a dangerous compulsion. Using a cell phone while driving creates enormous potential for deaths and injuries on U.S. roads. In 2019, 3,142 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers. (2)

The tips of the penalty iceberg are fines and accidents. Multiple offenses can lead to the suspension or revocation of your driver’s license. You could also face increased insurance rates. Consult with a car accident attorney Naples to learn the penalties you face.

Preventing Distracted Driving

The best way to avoid the consequences of distracted driving is to prevent distractions. Here are some tips to help you avoid distractions on the road.

  1. Be fully dressed and ready before you leave home. Some people finish dressing, brush their hair, or finish their makeup behind the wheel of the car. Instead, finish preparations at home.

  2. Adjust the mirrors, the GPS, and the radio before starting your trip. This simple step will prevent the need to do so after you are on the road.

  3. Put anything that could roll around in the car securely away. Doing this will keep you from being tempted to reach for something on the floorboard.

  4. Securely buckle children or pets into seats. If one of the children needs something on the road, pull off to safely give it to them.

  5. Eat before you get into the car. If you have to eat on the road, choose things that aren’t messy.

  6. Don’t use electronic devices while driving. No cellphones, not even hands-free, while driving.

  7. If you need to handle any situations, pull safely off the road. Don’t handle anything other than driving while behind the wheel.

  8. Be aware of anything that could cause you to lose focus on the road.

Preventing distracted driving before it begins is more manageable than stopping it once it starts. Focusing on the road will help you to avoid a moving violation, or worse, an accident. If you experience a mishap caused by distracted driving, a car accident attorney in Naples can clarify your rights and responsibilities according to the law. 

Conclusion

Distracted driving is more than simply using a cellphone behind the wheel. A distraction is anything that removes your focus from the path in front of your car. Distractions can lead to legal ramifications or accidents with dire consequences. Over 3,000 people died as a result of distracted driving accidents in 2019 alone.

Preventing distracted driving accidents is possible. Eliminate as many distractions as possible before you begin driving. Make adjustments to your mirrors, radio, or navigational system before starting the car. Don’t forget to secure all of your belongings inside the vehicle as well.

Vehicle damage, injuries, or death are possible results of an accident and an accident that is caused by distraction has serious consequences. You could also face fines or jail time if the accident resulted from distracted driving. A car accident attorney Naples can explain the full ramifications of distracted driving accidents to you.

FAQs

I don’t use my cellphone while driving, but my sister says I am still guilty of distracted driving. Is she correct?

Distracted driving isn’t simply using your cell phone or texting while behind the wheel. It’s anything that takes your focus from the road in front of you. Eating, changing radio stations, changing locations in your GPS, and even engaging in conversation with passengers can be considered distracted driving.

I was involved in an accident where the other driver admitted to being distracted by a text message. Am I entitled to compensation?

Did you make a report with your insurance company? That depends on the laws in your state regarding at-fault accidents. Detailed documentation of the events leading up to the accident and the mishap will be necessary for any claims. Consult with a car accident attorney in Naples to learn your rights and responsibilities in this situation.

Are accidents due to distracted driving preventable?

The best way to prevent accidents is to stay focused on driving. Eliminate as many distractions as possible to keep yourself focused. You can’t control every instance, but you can maintain your focus.

Last updated on Mar 24, 2022