Drivers Distractions Increasing Risks of Car Accidents in Arizona

It’s been proven in a number of studies, engaging in distractions while driving, biking and walking increases the risks for an accident in Arizona, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT). Distractions can come in a number of forms, including talking on a cell phone, text messaging, catering to children, drinking, eating and applying makeup. The bottom line is that distractions are dangerous and drivers should be concentrating on the road while operating a motor vehicle.Everyone also knows about the dangers of driving while intoxicated, but many underestimate the dangers of driving while drowsy. Some common prescription drugs and even over-the-counter drugs can cause drowsiness. Drivers that take these drugs are more likely to have slower reaction times behind the wheel.

Our Phoenix car accident lawyers understand that the distractions don’t end there. Pets can also cause drivers to take their attention off of the roadway. Paper maps, GPS devices and hand-held electronic devices are dangerous to use while driving, too. We’re not solely pointing the finger at drivers either. Pedestrians can also be distracted while walking along our roadways while listening to headphones, talking with other fellow pedestrians and playing with electronic devices. Engaging in any of these distractions can greatly increase someone’s risk for a potentially fatal accident.

According to recent studies, a driver who is distracted by the use of a cell phone is nearly five times more likely to get into an accident. Some studies even conclude that distracted drivers have the same reaction time as drivers who are legally drunk.

Ordinances regarding these behaviors vary between the state’s jurisdictions. Motorists need to be careful of what the rules are in different areas. More municipal agencies offer this type of information on their website. The penalties for being busted for engaging in prohibited distractions are relatively minor, but the risks and consequences for an accident resulting from this behavior are not.

In Arizona, only school bus drivers are prohibited from using a cell phone behind the wheel. All other drivers are free to talk on the phone and text message behind the wheel, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association.

Distraction-Related Safety Tips from the U.S. Department of Transportation:

-Turn off the cell phone before getting into the vehicle.

-Talk with friends and family members about the importance of keeping your eyes on the road.

-Pull over into a safe area before making or answering a phone call.

-Ask passengers to make and answer phone calls for you if need be.

-Don’t text and drive. It not only takes your mind away from driving, it also takes your eyes off the road and your hands from the wheel.

-Know the distraction-related laws in the areas you are driving in.

-Know where you’re going before you venture out to reduce the need for road maps and GPS devices while driving.

-Make sure that all children and pets are properly restrained before starting the vehicle.

If you or a family member has been involved a distraction-related car accident Phoenix, call the Arizona accident attorneys at Abels & Annes for a free, no obligation consultation. Contact us online or call 866-99-ABELS to speak directly to a lawyer today.

More Blog Entries:

ADOT Warns Motorists of Winter Weather and Risks for Car Accidents in Arizona
January 5, 2012
Distractions: A Top Cause for Car Accidents in Phoenix through Holidays
January 2, 2012

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