Weather conditions are certainly one of the most common reasons for auto accidents, but if the weather is perfectly fine then the most likely cause of a vehicular accident is distracted driving. Unlike drunk driving, which is easily defined by the law, there are many forms of distracted driving that may or may not be able to be established after an accident.

If you’ve been injured by someone who was still on the road even though they should have pulled over, you need a personal injury lawyer on your side. Today we’re going to talk about the most common forms of distracted driving and what can be done to avoid them.

Radio

Here’s the oldest distraction there is. AM car radios have been a distraction to drivers since 1920, when aftermarket radios were devised to work with car voltages. After that came the addition of FM, 8-tracks, cassette tapes, CDs, DVDs, mp3 ports, and more. Each one tended to add ever more buttons and making it more difficult for drivers to find exactly what they wanted by feel.

Unlike most items on this list, every driver of today grew up with a radio in the vehicle. Yet as much practice as we’ve gotten changing the channels, messing with the radio is still a cause of distracted driving. If the person who hit you did so because they were changing the channel, contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.

Phones

Car phones have existed since just after World War II, but few of us ever talked in the car until cell phones became popular. While most of us have had a cell phone for 15 years or more, far too many people think that “hang up and drive” doesn’t apply to them. Talking on the phone while driving, even if it’s a hands-free unit, can distract a driver and cause him or her to not pay attention to their surroundings…which could mean running a red light or stop sign.

Of course, cell phones then lead to one of the worst types of distracted driving possible…

Texting

Texting and driving kills. All you have to do is look at the 13 people killed in Houston last week by a pickup truck driver who later admitted that he was texting. Statistically, at least one person is killed every day by a driver who was texting. While everyone agrees that texting and driving is a bad idea, many people still do it thinking “I’m good enough, it won’t happen to me.” That attitude can kill or seriously injure others.

GPS

No doubt about it, GPS is pretty amazing. When you’re lost or a looking for an alternative route to avoid traffic, it’s hard to beat this free service. Unfortunately, not enough people choose to pull over when they need to find this new route, and even though GPS units warn people that they should only operate when they’re at a complete stop, people don’t seem to care. When the crash occurs, accident attorneys are there to do what they can to help the victims.

People Take Their Pets Everywhere

As we mentioned on our accident page, people are taking pets with them more than ever. Thirty years ago, people might have had their dog in the car once a year on the way to the vet. Today, some people will not leave the house unless they have their dog in tow. Unfortunately, they’re putting their pet, themselves, and other drivers in peril by having their dog run around the cabin unrestrained.

Dogs can act erratically in a vehicle and startle easily, so people are getting distracted more than ever as they have to recover from their pet getting in their line of site. Every pet owner heading to the pet store or dog park has a responsibility to the dog and other drivers to properly secure a pet in a pet carrier in the rear seat.

Fewer Knobs

The all-electric Tesla Model S is one of the most advanced cars in the world, sporting not only top-of-the-line performance and speed, but also a 17-inch vertical touch screen from which the driver can control the radio, heating, maps, and much more.

And that’s the problem. All of these features that once had knobs that you could work by feel are now only able to be changed by this flat touch screen. You actually have to take your eyes off the road in order to be able to adjust nearly every aspect of the vehicle. Consumer Reports magazine noted this as one of the biggest drawback to an otherwise amazing car.

It’s not just the Tesla that’s running into these problems, though. As other cars become more advanced, they’re trying to match this “one-button” policy that started 10 years ago with smartphones. But in this effort to feel more futuristic, carmakers are actually making people less safe. Is the design of the dashboard the fault of the driver? Not entirely, but they did choose to take their eyes off the road. That mistake could kill.

Nearly all of these accidents could be avoided if people would simply pull over or wait until they got home to deal with the issue at hand. Unfortunately, most people think they’re such good drivers that they can handle a little distracted driving. They’re wrong. If one has injured you, contact The Law Offices of Craig S. Sossaman today.