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Distracted Driving Is a "Dangerous Epidemic," According to Top Highway Safety Official in Louisiana

April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and people are taking notice. In Louisiana and across the country, distracted driving remains a serious problem, claiming the lives of countless innocent victims every year. The issue is so prevalent, in fact, that a top safety official in Louisiana has referred to it as a “dangerous epidemic,” and warns that it will only get worse until drivers are willing to modify their behaviors behind the wheel.

Part of the problem could be that many drivers don’t believe their actions are actually classified as “distracted driving.” Contrary to popular belief, texting while driving is not the only form of distraction when operating a vehicle. Many behaviors are considered to be distracting, if engaged while driving. Generally speaking, distracted driving is broken down into three types of behaviors, commonly referred to as the “Triple Threat.” These are:

  1. Cognitive Distractions: Any time a driver’s thoughts are not fully focused on the task at hand – driving – he or she is considered to be engaging in distracted driving. Common forms of cognitive distractions include: talking to other passengers in the car, listening to music or a podcast, thinking about work, etc.
  2. Visual Distractions: Any time a driver looks at something other than the road ahead, he or she is engaging in visual distraction. Even something as innocent as looking at the GPS in your car is considered to be a visual form of distracted driving.
  3. Manual Distractions: Any time a driver takes one or both hands off the steering wheel, he or she is said to be engaging in distracted driving. This is referred to as a manual distraction. Common forms include: changing the radio station, texting, eating / drinking, digging through a purse / wallet, etc.

According to the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission, nearly 200 people were killed by distracted drivers in the state between 2011 and 2015. An additional 27,000 individuals were injured by distracted drivers.

If you or someone you love was seriously injured in a wreck involving distracted driving, do not hesitate to contact a Tangipahoa car accident attorney at Anderson & Boutwell. We charge nothing until your case is won. Call us today at (985) 796-2245.