When you first learned to drive, you likely experienced times when you felt nervous or afraid behind the wheel. With time, your comfort level may have increased until you reached the point where driving felt like second nature. The problem with getting too comfortable while driving is that it can lead to complacency, which is a common factor among many distracted driving accidents. You want to be comfortable, yes, but never so comfortable that you lose your focus on the task at hand.
There are several main types of distractions that most often lead to a collision. These include behaviors that are cognitive, manual or visual. Each of these distraction types may include complacency, however, and if you throw in fatigue, being in a hurry or feeling frustrated at other motorists, you've got a recipe for disaster. If you remain alert, focused and cautious, it increases your chances of safely reaching your destination. In the unfortunate case that a distracted driver causes you injury, it's crucial to know where to turn for help.
Watch out for complacent and distracted driving behaviors
How many times have you witnessed someone trying to eat a burger or sip a tall drink while he or she drives a car? A single drop of hot coffee is enough to cause total loss of steering control, which can quickly result in a collision and dangerous, if not fatal, injuries. The following list includes several dangerous behaviors that suggest a distracted driver is in your midst:
- You may not be able to actually witness a particular driving distraction that causes more fatal injuries than any other types of distraction. It is daydreaming or being lost in thought. If a driver is thinking about a grocery list or is participating in a business meeting over speaker phone while driving, any motorist or pedestrian nearby could be in great danger.
- It's fun to listen to music on the road; however, adjusting radio knobs or scrolling through playlists on iPods are significant distractions that can lead to collisions.
- If a driver is looking at a billboard, the aftermath of a collision on the side of a road, or people in other vehicles, he or she is definitely distracted and not practicing safe driving habits.
It's critical to obtain immediate medical care if you suffer injuries in a car accident. Beyond initial treatment, you may need repeated medical visits, surgery or physical therapy to achieve as full a physical recovery as soon as possible. In a situation that could have been prevented if not for another driver's negligence, you should not be held fully accountable for expenses associated with your injuries.
Support is available
Some Montana accident victims turn to licensed counselors or community support groups for help in dealing with the emotional trauma of distracted driving collisions. Others have enlisted the aid of experienced personal injury attorneys to seek legal accountability against those who caused their injuries.