Kansas City Missouri Legal Blog

Distracted driving: the facts and the risks

Most Missouri drivers have heard the age-old warnings of driving while distracted, but not everyone takes those warnings into consideration when getting behind the wheel. Although it is possible to enjoy some level of entertainment while making those commutes, it is all too easy to become immersed in them. Below, some of the experts consider which driving practices are safe, and which ones could ultimately result in disaster.  

It can first prove beneficial to look at the statistics. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention share that more than 1,000 drivers are injured each day due to distracted driving. Nine out of these 1,000 drivers are killed as a result of accidents. CDC breaks down distracted driving into three categories: cognitive, manual and visual. When a driver’s mind is on other topics, other important surroundings do not receive attention. Manual distractions can happen when a driver takes his or her hands off the wheel. Visual distractions are the most common, and occur when a driver’s eyes leave the road. 

Bankrate gives an interesting rundown of the most dangerous distractions for drivers, listing activities that range in levels of safety. While activities such as listening to the radio or an audio book raise minimal risks, activities such as talking with other passengers are not as safe. Bankrate claims the level of distraction that just one conversation can create can present dangers. Drivers may be tempted to turn their heads completely or even use hands to illustrate a discussion. When it comes to the riskier activities, Bankrate pinpoints speech-to-text systems as the main culprits. Depending on the type of technology, these devices can allow drivers to send texts and emails, check the weather and update social media profiles — all while driving. Bankrate argues that these devices can pose an extensive risk to drivers. There may be a million tasks to complete and an equal amount of distractions to accompany them, but the most important one when behind the wheel is the ride itself. 

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