Estimated highway deaths in the United States are believed to have crossed the 40,000-person mark which would make it the highest total in the last 10 years. Unfortunately, accident rates are increasing as well. The most dangerous things behind the wheel could seem like a minor distraction, but it could lead to critical accidents, injuries, and damages. Drinking and driving is a habit well worth avoiding, but distracted driving does not seem to get the same traction as far as driver recognition about its dangers.

As the cost of car crashes is increasing on a national level, more insurance companies are increasing premiums for everybody, even those individuals who drive safely. Unfortunately, there are far too many negative behaviors that people engage in behind the wheel aside from drunk driving although drunk driving has many negative impacts on society. The number of deaths is increasing based on a percentage of miles traveled and this is an extremely troubling statistic.

A recent study conducted by the National Academy of Sciences identified the number of distractions individuals in California encounter while driving even in the situation where a driver was completely sober and in perfect health. The most dangerous distractions included:

  • Using a touchscreen menu
  • Reaching for an object
  • Texting while driving
  • Operating the car radio
  • Dialing digits on a phone

Keeping your phone out of reach or on airplane mode might seem like an inconvenience, but it could help break a serious distracted driving habit. 

While it might seem like just a few seconds of lost attention behind the wheel is too short to have big consequences, all it takes is a short moment to lose focus and get involved in an accident. This becomes even more important when you’re traveling at 55 miles per hour or faster. Just glancing away for a couple of seconds is enough time for your car to cross the length of a football field.

All of these could lead to increased chances of distraction and critical injury if you are involved in an accident. While drinking and driving is still a leading cause of accidents in California and elsewhere, committing to stay safe behind the wheel by removing any distractions could save your life and protect others from serious injury.

Distracted driving accident victims may have grounds to file a personal injury claim. As many news reports and photos from accident scenes have indicated, the injuries associated with such an accident can be catastrophic. Paralysis, neck injuries, and TBIs can lead to costly medical treatments and lifelong impacts on the victim’s family, too. For all these reasons, California law enables victims to recover compensation with a personal injury claim against any responsible parties.