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Driver Distractions That Pose the Greatest Risk

common distractions while driving

Driver distractions result in accidents, injuries, fatalities and property damage every day — being aware of these distractions and eliminating them keeps you and others safe. It is your legal responsibility as a driver to maintain your duty of care towards other motorists. In fact, it only takes five seconds of not paying attention to your driving to cause an accident. This amount of time is the generally accepted amount that passes between a driver taking their eyes off the road and causing an accident, according to studies such as those conducted by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute.

Five seconds also happens to be the amount of time people spend sending a text message, during which your car crosses the length of a football field at a speed of 55 miles per hour. The federal government of the United States defines distracted driving as any activity that makes the act of driving a secondary priority. Every single day distracted driving causes 1,000 injuries and 10 deaths, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. In order to get justice for these crimes, a West Palm Beach car accident attorney is needed.


Technology is arguably the greatest threat to safe driving these days. Five seconds, the amount of time referenced above, is in fact only the minimum amount of time that phones distract drivers from the road. Texting makes an accident 23 times more likely, while reaching for a device increases the likelihood of a crash by 1.4 times, talking or listening by a factor of 1.3 and dialing by a factor of 2.8 times. 13% of drivers aged 18-20 admitted to texting or talking at the time of their crash. The majority of teenagers, furthermore, believe they can text safety and over half believe texting while driving is easy. However, in general texting while driving results in 10% more time spent driving outside of one’s designated lane. This only includes phones as well, but other technology like DVD, MP3 and CD players — or even just adjusting the radio tuner — contribute to the danger of driving distracted as well.

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We’ve all been distracted by our passengers. Unfortunately we tend to accept this distraction because it usually involves our friends and family, but this is a serious cause of accidents. Don’t put everyone in your car at risk by neglecting responsible driving and letting your passengers distract you. Adults can follow instructions easily if you lay down some ground rules, but children are a whole different matter. Your crying baby, or arguing children, won’t listen as easily. The best thing to do is to pull over and get the situation in your car under control before you continue driving; do this and you prevent an accident that requires the help of a West Palm Beach worker comp lawyer.

Grooming, Eating & Drinking

When drivers are running late they tend to do household activities while driving, such as grooming, eating and drinking. At a minimum this takes one hand off the wheel, leading to a greatly increased chance of having an accident. Unfortunately, these simple tasks are deceptive, which leads to an important point about driver distractedness: complacency. Most people will get away with grooming, eating and drinking — along with other distracted activities — for a long time, leading to a false sense of confidence. It only takes one slip up, however, to change the lives of everyone in your car and other cars as well.

Hire a West Palm Beach Injury Lawyer

Call us today to discuss your accident related to a distracted driver. You, your family and friends deserve to be have the best chance possible at restitution. As lawyers who specialize in car accidents, we understand how difficult it can be to deal with an accident all on your own and will remain committed to your case with empathy. Please call Sternberg | Forsythe, P.A. at 561-687-5660 now for a free case evaluation.

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