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Is distracted driving a modern problem?

On Behalf of | Feb 24, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Cellular phones have gotten some pretty heavy criticism when it comes to adding to the nation’s distracted driving problem. In fact, Illinois law now forbids drivers to use hand-held phones while they’re driving, and drivers under 19 years of age aren’t even allowed to use hands-free devices.

There’s really no denying that modern electronics may have added to the problem of distracted driving, simply because they’re omnipresent in daily life. People have a hard time “tuning out,” even when they’re driving – especially in vehicles that have integrated technology that can allow drivers to stay connected at all times.

However, distracted driving is most definitely not a modern problem, and distractions really are everywhere.

There are 3 main kinds of distracted driving

Per the Centers for Disease Control, distracted driving can involve three different things:

  1. Manual distractions, or things that require you to take a hand off the wheel
  2. Visual distractions, or things that require you to glance away from the road
  3. Cognitive distractions, or things that cause your mind to wander away from driving

Before there were smartphones, people were already distracted by everything from Burma Shave signs to flashing billboards. Even an accident at the side of the road can cause drivers to get distracted, and “rubbernecking” has long been blamed for many a wreck.

Some of the most common sources of distractions actually may be internal. You can avoid touching the knob on the radio when you’re driving, but you may not be able to resist singing along to a certain song and getting lost in your memories – and that takes your attention away from the road. Or, you could be dwelling on a conversation you had with your partner before you left the house, which could shift your focus away from driving.

Ultimately, everyone has to do their best to eliminate distracted driving. Unfortunately, you can’t control anybody but yourself. If you end up injured in a wreck with a distracted driver, find out more about your right to fair compensation for your losses.