Car Accidents

Not All Driving Distractions are Electronic

Posted by Trent Kelly on October 7, 2019
Not All Driving Distractions are Electronic

When you think about distracted drivers in the 2010s, you likely automatically imagine someone texting and driving. We hear news stories on a regular basis about drivers taking selfies, posting on social media, or sending texts right before crashing their vehicles. However, distracted driving accidents happened long before smartphones existed, and this is because there are many additional distractions while driving that are not related to electronics.

Austin Distracted Driving Accident Lawyers


Other Common Distractions

Drivers can get distracted by many things. Even a simple daydream can cause a driver’s focus to stray from the road, and mental distraction leads to many accidents. A driver may also briefly take their hands off the wheel to reach for something on the passenger side and, in that second, they can crash. Perhaps the most dangerous type of distraction involves anything that takes a driver’s eyes off the road. 

Some non-electronic distractions include:

  • Eating and drinking, especially messy food or hot beverages that require concentration
  • Personal grooming, which can include anything from putting on makeup in the rearview mirror, brushing teeth, fixing your hair or even shaving
  • Paying too much attention to children in the backseat or reaching back to hand them items or help them
  • Listening to highly engaging radio shows, podcasts, audiobooks, or loud music
  • Talking to passengers, especially arguing, flirting, or conversations that are particularly engaging
  • Reading a book or a newspaper

While you might never imagine shaving or reading a book when behind the wheel, you would be shocked at the ways that some drivers try to multitask. Many of the most dangerous distractions do not involve a smartphone at all.

Did a Distracted Driver Hit You?

When a car accident happens, you generally have an idea of which vehicle caused the crash. Drivers who are distracted can make many mistakes on the road, such as:

  • Failing to react to an obstacle in time
  • Having to slam on their brakes
  • Veering into the wrong lane
  • Crossing the double yellow line into oncoming traffic
  • Overcorrecting
  • Running red lights
  • Failing to merge or yield properly
  • Changing lanes without checking blind spots

If there are no text records or other evidence that a driver was using a smartphone, it can be challenging to prove they were distracted. After all, you cannot obtain evidence that a driver was daydreaming unless they admit it themselves, which is highly unlikely. Instead, you will generally have to prove the mistake they made on the road that was the result of their distracted driving.

Perhaps a witness saw the car stray from its lane or fail to hit the brakes before it hit you. This is enough to demonstrate the driver was negligent, as they breached their duty to drive in a reasonably safe manner. At this point, it becomes unnecessary to prove why they left their lane or did not stop in time.

Contact an Austin Motor Vehicle Accident Attorney for Help

At the law office of Terry & Kelly Attorneys, our Austin motor vehicle accident attorneys help victims of distracted driving crashes. Call (512)-910-2000 or contact us online for more information today.

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