Owning an operating a motor vehicle is important to many Montana residents. And while much thought goes into the vehicle type and where a motorist will drive it, much thought should go into what a motorist does behind the wheel of a vehicle. Because we live in a fast-paced world, our days are filled with many distractions. Nonetheless, one place distractions should not interfere with one’s life is while they are driving; however, this is not always the case. In fact, a distracted driver is all too often the cause of a serious or even fatal car accident.

How serious is distracted driving? According to recent estimates, distracted driving was involved in 20 percent of the injury causing automobile collision occurring in 2009. The age group that had the highest proportion of distracted drivers involved in fatal crashes was those under the age of 20.

Additionally, for those drivers reportedly distracted during a fatal crash, the 30-to-39-year-old drivers group was the group with the greatest proportion distracted by cell phones. In fact, a cell phone distracted 24 percent of the distracted drivers in this group.

What are common distracting activities? There are three main types of distractions that could occur when a motorist is driving. First, there are visual distractions. This causes the driving to take his or her eyes off of the road. Second, there are manual distractions, which cause the driver to take his or her hands off of the wheel. Lastly, there are cognitive distractions. This causes the driving to take their mind off the primary task of driving.

Distracting activities often include using a cellphone, eating and drinking, talking to other passengers, grooming, reading, using a navigation system, watching a video and even listening to music. Because there are many forms of distractions that could interfere with a driver’s capability of driving safely, it is important to understand the types and factors involved in a distracting driving accident.

A victim could suffer serious injuries, resulting in financial, emotional and physical pain and suffering. If a negligent driver caused the crash, a victim could place liability on that driver. A personal injury claim could help them recover compensation for their losses and damages suffered.

Source: Infographicsarchive.com, “Distracted Driving Statistics,” accessed Jan. 15, 2017