Daydreaming a common cause of distracted driving crashes

Distracted driving has received a great deal of attention from safety advocates, police and the public in Texas. Many people equate the problem of distraction on the road with the use of cell phones while driving. People may be tempted to text, talk or surf the internet on their mobile devices while in traffic, and the practice has been linked to a number of severe car accidents. However, research indicates that other types of distracted driving may be even more dangerous. Despite the rush of developments aimed to curb mobile phone use behind the wheel, relatively little has been done to address boredom, daydreaming and general inattentiveness.

One study examined five years of statistics on traffic deaths collected nationwide. Between 2013 and 2018, 172,000 people lost their lives in car accidents. The system includes data reported by police as to the cause of the crashes in question. Researchers found that 10 percent of these deaths were linked to distracted driving. Of those, however, the majority did not point to mobile phone usage or texting while driving. A full 61 percent of these fatal crashes involved a driver who was daydreaming or lost in thought.

Since daydreaming is such a large part of human nature, many are looking to technology for a solution. Fully automated vehicles may offer a future solution, but current safety technologies, like collision alerts and automatic braking, may also offer mechanisms to reduce the likelihood of these crashes.

Car accidents can cause severe injuries and lifelong disabilities. In many cases, these crashes are caused by distracted drivers, a number that may be underrepresented even in the official police statistics. A personal injury lawyer can help someone who has been hurt in an accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence seek compensation for his or her damages.