We are all aware that the Alabama legislature enacted a texting-while-driving ban in the summer of 2012. Due to a recent growth in national texting and driving campaigns, most drivers now accept the fact that texting and cell phone use while behind the wheel is a growing hazard for motorists everywhere. However, with all the attention on texting, many forget that the true hazard is not limited just to cell phones. Any device or any activity that competes for a driver's attention presents a real risk of a catastrophic car accident.
Studies reveal that convenience-based distractions can be just as deadly as communication-based distractions. For instance, a recent survey shows that more than 20% of women admit to applying makeup while driving. A study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found that simply touching up one's makeup can actually increase the risk that that driver is involved in a auto accident by three times. That same study revealed that talking on the phone only increased a driver's crash risk by 1.3 times.
Another report showed that more than 70% of drivers consume food and/or beverages while behind the wheel. An early distracted driving study by the NHTSA predicted that eating and driving could potentially increase the threat of an auto accident by up to 80%. However, the study did recognize that different foods/beverages presented different risks.
Regardless of whether a driver is eating, playing with the radio, texting, or simply talking with passengers, the key factor to safe driving is driver alertness. Consult an Alabama texting accident lawyer if you were injured in a car collision caused by a distracted driver. Lawyers familiar with personal injury claims stemming from such accidents may be able to discover documents and obtain witness statements proving the other driver was inattentive.