While speed limits are set and enforced to help protect drivers and prevent car accidents and personal injury from occurring, could strict speed enforcement play a part in making drivers more dangerous behind the wheel? A new study suggests that constantly looking at the speedometer to ensure you remain within posted speeds could present problems for drivers, making distracted driving accidents more likely to occur.
An ABC report on a distracted driving study conducted in Australia states that researchers have found that strict speed enforcement laws caused drivers to more closely monitor their speedometer readings, distracting them from potential hazards on the road. Consider how often you look down to check your own speed. While your attention may be diverted for only a fraction of a second, in some cases that is all it takes for a potentially serious and even life-threatening accident to occur.
What Is Distracted Driving?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), distracted driving is defined as participating in any activity that diverts your attention behind the wheel. While texting and using cellphones while driving are among the most common examples of this type of behavior, other, more subtle forms of driving distractions include changing radio stations or GPS settings, eating or drinking while driving, and even talking to other passengers in the vehicle.
There are three main ways in which drivers may be distracted:
- Visual distractions, which cause you to take your eyes off the road
- Manual distractions, which cause you to remove your hands from the steering wheel
- Cognitive distractions, which occur when your thoughts are diverted from the task of driving, affecting your response to conditions ahead
According to the CDC, distracted driving is a leading cause of accidents and injuries in the U.S., responsible for one fifth of all motor vehicle accidents and injuring as many as 1,000 people each day.
Distracted Driving Accidents in Dallas
Crash statistics from the state Department of Transportation indicate that accidents due to driver distraction in Texas number more than 100,000 a year, with more than 6,000 of these crashes and collisions occurring in the Dallas area alone. While some of these accidents may be attributed to the fact that cellphones and texting are not prohibited behind the wheel, unlike other cities in the state, recent research suggests that even performing basic driver functions, such as glancing at your speedometer when entering traffic enforcement zones, could present dangers.
If you or someone you care about has suffered injuries as the result of a distracted driving or speed-related accident, contact Kraft & Associates, P.C. today. Our Dallas car accident attorneys provide the aggressive legal representation you need to hold at fault drivers accountable, while assisting you in getting the compensation you deserve.