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Distracted Driving

Wisconsin Car Accident Attorney

If you drive frequently, you have probably witnessed it or may have even been a culprit yourself: doing something other than keeping your attention on the road and the task at hand. Distracted driving is one of the greatest dangers on America's roadways. It is to blame for thousands of injuries and hundreds of thousands of deaths – which would have been entirely preventable if drivers had been paying attention.

According to statistics on the Department of Transportation's website, www.distraction.gov, 3,328 people were killed and about 421,000 were injured in distraction-affected collisions in the United States in 2012. These accidents could have been prevented if drivers had kept their eyes on the road, their hands on the wheel and their mental attention on driving.

At Cannon & Dunphy S.C., we provide experienced legal counsel for clients across Wisconsin who have been injured by distracted drivers. Car accident claims and lawsuits are a key part of our legal practice, as we recognize the significant impact these preventable incidents can have on all aspects of a victim's life. We understand how losing a loved one in this way can cause unprecedented devastation for an entire family. If you would like to talk to a Milwaukee car accident lawyer about your options and rights in the aftermath of a collision, please do not hesitate to call for a confidential and free case review.

What is distracted driving?

Distracted driving may be described as operating a motor vehicle while engaging in any type of activity that takes one's attention from driving. Any type of distraction can significantly impair a driver's ability to safely operate a vehicle, with a considerably increased risk of causing or being involved in a collision. These distractions may fall under one or more of three primary categories: those that affect visual attention, those that affect mental attention and those that affect manual attention.

Visual attention refers to a driver's eyes on the road. Turning to look at a passenger, reading a map or in-vehicle navigation system, looking down at a phone or looking in a mirror to apply make-up are all examples of distractions that would affect visual attention. A mere moment or matter of seconds is all it takes for a driver to miss an obstacle in the road, drift from a lane or fail to notice a change in traffic, causing a crash.

Mental attention, or cognitive attention, refers to a driver's mind being focused on driving. Many different activities may affect a driver's mental attention, such as texting, talking to a passenger, driving with too little sleep or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Judgment and reaction time will be affected if mental attention is decreased.

Manual attention refers to a driver's hands on the wheel. If a person takes one or both hands from the wheel while driving, he or she will be unable to respond quickly in the event of a road hazard or other emergency. A driver may lose control of the vehicle with insufficient time to react or may drift from the road or lane. Texting, using a hand-held cellphone, eating, lighting a cigarette and personal grooming are examples of distractions that affect manual attention.

Perhaps the most dangerous distractions are those that affect all three forms of attention: visual, mental and manual. Texting while driving is widely recognized as the most dangerous distraction affecting today's drivers. A recent study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found that a driver's chances of a collision increase by up to 23 times when texting while driving, as opposed to a driver who is not driving while distracted.

Learn more about distracted driving accidents and your rights. Contact a Wisconsin car accident attorney at our firm for your free consultation.