Like other motorists across the nation, Illinois drivers are susceptible to becoming distracted while on the roads. The issue of distracted driving has become a severe problem across the nation in recent years, something to which car accident attorneys can attest. However, exterior distractions have been a problem since the invention of the motor vehicle, and they continue to affect numerous individuals every year. According to a study performed by the University of Michigan, any outside event that draws the driver’s attention is considered an exterior distraction. In an effort to decrease potential accidents from occurring, drivers should remain aware of the following types of exterior distractions while on the roads:
- Other motorists
A study performed by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania reports that the most common exterior distraction that results in accidents is other motorists. When other drivers swerve in and out of traffic or use other unsafe driving practices, the drivers around them become severely distracted and may end up causing an accident themselves as a result. This includes accidents, which are a common distraction to other motorists. When drivers pass by accidents, many often “rubber neck” and fail to keep their eyes on the road for extended periods of time, actions that can easily lead to secondary accidents.
- Police activity
While high speed chases are not a common occurrence, they do happen and they are extremely dangerous and distracting events. Other more common distractions connected with police and other emergency vehicle activity include the flashing vehicle lights and sirens. Motorists may attempt to see where the emergency vehicles are coming from and take their attention off the road. Rubbernecking also occurs when police vehicles have stopped other motorists along the side of the road.
Animals in or along the roads can lead to many kinds of accidents. When a driver becomes distracted while looking at animals and fails to heed traffic or road requirements, they make an accident more likely to occur. All types of animals, common or not, can be distracting enough to cause an accident, so these animal-related accidents are not confined to rural areas.
- Landmarks and scenery
A Virginia Commonwealth University study reviewed and analyzed over 2,800 police surveys and found that nearly 10 percent of accidents occurred because drivers were busy gazing at the scenery or historical landmarks. Even a quick glance away from the road can result in a crash with serious injury. However, little has been done to study the amount of distraction-related accidents along scenic byways.
Those who have been injured in any kind of distracted driving incident can contact an Illinois personal injury attorney to schedule a consultation. With the help of an attorney, accident victims can overcome the physical, emotional and financial burdens that these accidents can cause.