Almost everyone has found themselves letting their mind wander when driving a car, especially on a morning commute or a long trip. Because driving has become largely automatic behavior for many drivers, daydreaming may help you to escape the boredom of your daily grind.
Unfortunately, daydreaming may not be a harmless way to kill time as you get yourself from point A to point B. Our Manhattan injury lawyers note a recent study claims it may be the most common cause of distracted driving accidents.
Daydreaming and Distracted Driving
According to Yahoo News, Erie Insurance recently reviewed records from 65,000 fatal car accidents to identify wrecks that involved distracted drivers. After determining that around 10 percent of the 65,000 accidents had a distracted driver at the wheel, Erie Insurance sifted through the records in order to find out what the drivers were doing at the time.
What they found seems, at first glance, to be very surprising. Erie Insurance found that one of the most commonly cited reasons for distracted driving crashes was that the driver was lost in thought when the accident happened. As many as 62 percent of all of the reported distracted driving accidents the company examined were attributed to daydreamers.
This ran contrary to what most believe is the most common cause of distracted driving accidents: the use of cell phones. In fact, the Erie Insurance study indicated that only around 12 percent of fatal distracted driving crashes were caused by a cell-phone using driver.
Before you get ready to pull out the phone and give up the daydreaming, however, it is important to consider a few issues. The biggest issue is that the reported cause of the crash was determined by law enforcement at the accident scene. Law enforcement decided what cause to list by asking those involved in the crash and by reviewing the accident scene for evidence.
Unfortunately, a person who was on the phone at the time of the accident wouldn’t still be on the phone when police arrived to investigate. Further, with 39 states having at least some kind of ban or limitation on the use of a cell phone or an electronic device, many drivers in the U.S. would likely be unwilling to admit to police that they had caused a crash by being on the phone. Instead, these drivers might try to pass their behavior off as simple daydreaming, especially if they are concerned about facing civil and even criminal liability for driving while distracted.
Regardless of whether a driver is distracted by dreaming or by a phone, the important thing is preventing more people from getting hurt and stopping more accidents before they occur. You can do that by making a vow not to let anything distract you while you drive.
The Law Offices of Nicholas Rose, PLLC offers free consultations to those who have been injured in a distracted driving accident. Call 1-877-313-7673.
NYC Child Injuries Decline Following School Zone Safety Program, New York Injury Lawyer Blog, Feb. 5, 2013.