Frequently Overlooked Distractions While Driving
Most motorists equate distracted driving with texting and driving, using the two terms interchangeably to refer to the most dangerous diversion behind the wheel. However, there are many equally dangerous distractions that fall outside the scope of Arizona’s texting and driving laws that you should be aware of, even if they aren’t as commonly discussed. Remember, even if a distraction isn’t explicitly prohibited by law, it can still qualify as reckless driving. This means that if you get into an accident while impaired by any of these distractions, you could be held liable for the crash, barring you from receiving compensation depending on your level of pure comparative fault.
Dashboard Systems and Devices
GPS systems, radios, A/C controls, and other dashboard devices are nearly indistinguishable from a cell phone as far as distractions are concerned. Managing any of these devices requires a hand, some amount of thought, and usually visual attention, which is akin to blindfolding yourself while driving. Despite how convenient these systems can be, you should only configure them while pulled over in a safe location, using them responsibly. Alternatively, giving a passenger control of your traveling tunes and heating is far safer, letting you stay focused on the task at hand.
Food and Drink
Eating while driving isn’t strictly illegal, but in many ways, can be even more tempting than texting. For busy commuters, saving time by multitasking simply makes sense. To many, this extends to grabbing a portable meal and finishing it in the car, but you should never give in to this temptation. Eating and drinking takes your mind and hand away from the task of driving, so don’t risk it. Set aside enough time to have a meal safely while pulled over, or wait until you arrive at your destination.
Loose papers, grocery bags, trash, and other unsecured, seemingly harmless debris can actually be some of the most alarmingly dangerous distractions of all. Most other distractions, such as cellular devices and food, have a degree of intentionality to them, meaning that you can pick and choose when to impair yourself in relatively safe scenarios. Unsecured objects, on the other hand, can shift and flit about at any time with no warning, which can induce a moment of utter panic as you look at the distraction, shoot a hand out to grab it, and likely forget all about the road. Loose objects in your car are overwhelmingly dangerous and should always be stored appropriately.
Compensation for Arizona Distracted Driving Accidents
If you’ve been hurt in a distracted driving accident in Arizona, you should talk to a lawyer as soon as possible. The crux of receiving compensation in a distracted driving crash lies in proving that the other driver was not only distracted but that their impairment directly led to the crash or intensified it. A good attorney can conduct a thorough investigation, using evidence such as cell phone records and security camera footage to build a strong case for your compensation. ELG’s Arizona auto accident attorneys have extensive experience with these types of cases, so be sure to give us a call at (623) 877-3600 to schedule a free consultation with one of our legal professionals.