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Analyzing Distractions: How Do I Know If I’m Taking a Risk Behind the Wheel?

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on November 27, 2012

Distracted driving has gotten a great deal of media attention in recent years, and much of the coverage has focused on the use of handheld cell phones and texting while driving. However, any kind of distraction behind the wheel can increase your risk for an accident.

To understand how distractions work and when you’re at risk of an accident due to a distraction, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) suggests considering the following factors:

  • What is a distraction? The NHTSA describes a distraction as any non-driving activity that a driver undertakes while behind the wheel.
  • Eyes: At 55 miles per hour, taking your eyes off the road for less than five seconds is like driving the length of an entire football field blindfolded. Any distraction that removes your eyes from the road increases your risk of a crash.
  • Hands: Distractions that take your hands off the wheel decrease your ability to steer safely, especially in a sudden emergency. Hands-free devices can reduce this risk, but you should also consider whether your eyes or mind are distracted by these devices even if your hands are not.
  • Mind: Even if your eyes and hands are focused on driving, if your mind is wandering or occupied with another activity, you may be at an increased risk for an accident.

At Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S., our hardworking Washington distracted driving car accident lawyers understand how a crash can change your life in an instant. That’s why we’re dedicated to helping those who have been injured in distracted driving accidents. For a free consultation, call us today at (888) 228-3860.

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