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Cognitive distraction: Unfocused drivers cause more accidents

When a driver is behind the wheel, the main priority should be driving safely. Unfortunately, there are many things that can take a driver’s focus off the task at hand, leading to dangerous levels of distraction. Research shows that even a moment or two of distraction significantly increases the chance of an accident.

Phone use is a major contributor to the number of distraction-related accidents. However, holding a phone, reading a text or responding to an email are not the only ways distraction happens behind the wheel. Cognitive distraction is just as dangerous as other types, and it can happen when a driver has both hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.

What is it?

Cognitive distraction refers to distraction that is not physical. It simply means a person’s mind is distracted while his or her body is doing something else. A driver can cause an accident because of things such as daydreaming, listening to music or even talking with someone in the car. Mental focus is just as important to safe driving as visual focus and prompt physical response to hazards. Consider the following:

  • Statistics indicate that one in four accidents are the result of some sort of phone use by the driver.
  • Teen drivers are significantly more likely to be in an accident when distracted by their phones in some way.
  • Hands-free devices and Bluetooth connectivity do not eliminate the problem. Drivers can be mentally distracted because of these things.
  • Children and passengers in the vehicle can also cause distraction, even if the driver is looking at the road.

Many overlook the dangers of cognitive distraction. A driver has the responsibility of remaining mentally focused while driving, and he or she may be liable if negligence results in injury to an innocent person.

Are you a victim?

If you think you are the victim of an accident caused by a distracted driver, you have the right to pursue damages through a civil claim. While a lawsuit cannot reverse the damage done, it can help you recoup your losses and secure damages for non-economic losses.

It will be helpful to speak about your case with an experienced California attorney. An assessment by a legal professional will identify the legal options available to you and help you understand how to move forward if you suffered harm because of cognitive distraction.