Every driver in New York should know that driving while distracted is dangerous. However, people often think that if they just refrain from texting or surfing the web while driving, they avoid distracted driving.
But there are several things drivers do that distract them, even when they aren’t on their phone. Some of the surprisingly distracting things people do while they are behind the wheel include:
- Checking the map: You may not be fiddling with a cumbersome paper map, but even checking the map on your GPS or in-dash system can be distracting. People might be trying to discern messages or detours; they could be changing destinations during a trip. As such, drivers focused on a map are looking at what might be coming up instead of what is right in front of them.
- Being upset: Getting into a fight or being very sad can affect a driver’s behaviors and increase their risk of crashing. Someone angry may be unusually aggressive and impatient; being sad or upset can make a person less alert and attentive.
- Helping your kids in the backseat: Unless they are napping, children can demand a lot of a driver’s attention. They drop things, cry or ask for snacks, toys or a new song on the radio. All interactions between parents and children in the car can take the driver’s mind and eyes off the road.
- Riding with your pets: Animals can be unpredictable, even when they are well-trained and used to riding in the car. Whether they are on your lap, sitting next to you or confined in a kennel in the back, they can pull your attention away from driving if they are moving around or showing signs of distress.
- Taking a hands-free work call: You do not need to be holding your phone for it to be a distraction. You might be trying to make a voice-controlled call or using your car’s infotainment system to read a message. If you are unfamiliar with these features, it can be complicated to navigate them. So even if your hands stay on the wheel and your eyes remain on the road, cognitive functions can be divided between tasks.
Motorists who engage in these and other distracting behaviors can be liable for damages they cause in a serious crash. At Arye, Lustig & Sassower, P.C., our highly experienced personal injury attorneys have held many negligent motorists and their insurance companies accountable. We have secured many six- and seven-figure verdicts and settlements in motor vehicle accident cases.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a collision caused by a distracted driver, contact us online or call 800-574-4LAW to arrange a free consultation.