Distraction major factor in Minnesota car crashes

The statistics for car crashes are out and the  Department of Public Safety reports that one of the largest factors in crashes was distraction. This is not likely to surprise anyone since drivers can often be observed with their attention placed on other things rather than the road in front of them. However, when a distracted driver causes a car accident, it can result in injury and death for the unfortunate victims.

The same report shows that over 29,000 people were injured and 395 people died in collisions in the state. It is unknown what percentage of those numbers involved distracted drivers, but, overall, distracted driving played a factor in a little more than 14 percent of all collisions in . Nationwide, 387,000 people were injured and over 3,000 people died because of distracted driving according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Types of distracted driving behavior

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are essentially three types of distracted behavior. These are cognitive, manual and visual. While many people may automatically think about cell phone use when they hear about distracted driving, there are many things that can take a driver’s mind and eyes off the road. These distractions include:

Passengers

Road signs

Using vehicle features like navigation systems, seat controls, and radio dials

Reading maps

Eating/drinking

Doing hair/makeup

According to the NHTSA, using an electronic device to send texts involves all three types of distracted behavior. Drivers are often thinking about the conversation taking place on the device, they take their hands off the wheel to hold the device or touch buttons, and they often look down at the device to read the incoming messages or check the accuracy of the one they just typed.

Dangers associated with distracted driving

If a driver is traveling at a speed of 55 mph and is texting at the same time, that person is taking their eyes off of the road for about 4.6 seconds. That doesn’t sound like a lot of time, but in that moment, the car can drive the length of a football field. When someone’s eyes are off the road for that long, serious consequences can occur.

The NHTSA also quotes a study done that shows the risk of injury to a driver is increased by 4 times when they are holding a phone or other mobile electronic device. This is not surprising since collisions can happen at full speed, causing serious injury to victims. People injured in a car accident involving distracted driving often face months of recovery and financial challenges. If you have been injured in a car accident, you should learn what your rights are by talking to an experienced personal injury attorney.