The Various Forms of Distracted Driving

The term distracted driving is often associated with behaviors such as texting and driving. However, distracted driving encompasses anything that distracts a motorist from the task of driving. As defined by the U.S Department of Transportation, distracted driving is “anything that can take away visual, manual or cognitive resources from the driving task.” Many Americans share common concerns regarding the limited time available in a day to complete tasks. As a result, our nation’s population has become quite adept at multi-tasking. Unfortunately, many see driving as an opportunity to multi-task, engaging in such behavior so frequently that it has almost become second nature to some. What many fail to see are the severe consequences that can result from such risky behavior. Our Chicago injury attorneys represent clients who have sustained injury in auto accidents caused by a distracted, or otherwise negligent, driver. As such, we have seen, first-hand, the devastating effects that distracted driving can produce.

As previously stated, multi-tasking is a common cause of distracted driving accidents. Aside from the use of electronic devices, personal hygiene is a common task performed while driving. Cosmetic application, hair styling, and even shaving have all been reported as causes to distracted driving accidents. Additional distractions include the consumption of food, beverages, or tobacco products. Although some motorists have recognized the danger of such behaviors after having been involved in ‘close-call’ situation, many drivers still continue to partake in distracted driving, despite having first-hand knowledge of its risks. Our team of Chicago accident and injury attorneys have represented victims of distracted driving accidents, and through this experience have learned that far too many of these accidents involve preventable circumstances.

An additional cause of accidents involving a driver’s distraction are unrestrained child occupants. This is especially dangerous in vehicles such as vans, SUVs, or other large vehicles where there is less restriction from mobility. Pursuant to Illinois law, all children under the age of 8 years of age should be properly secured in a child restraint system. Likewise, occupants over the age of 8, must be properly secured by a seatbelt; this rule applies whether the occupant is located in the front or rear. At Zneimer & Zneimer, P.C. we believe that every passenger should be properly secured by a seatbelt and that no occupant, a child in particular, should be allowed to roam freely about a vehicle.

Another, and often overlooked distraction while driving are unrestrained animals that are being transported in the vehicle. Animals should always be properly secured in an animal carrier, or with either a harness or other vehicle restraint device intended for animals. Failure to do so can result in the animal’s unexpected movement, which may interfere with a motorist’s capacity to properly operate the vehicle. Unrestrained animals, particularly smaller ones, have been known to seek the security and protection provided by the area underneath the driver’s leg area, thereby causing the potential for obstruction of the driver’s use of brake, gas, or clutch pedals.

There are a multitude of behaviors which constitute distracted driving not mentioned herein. The sad truth is that most drivers have engaged in distracted driving at one time or another, if only for a moment. However, it only takes that brief distracted moment for an accident to occur. The Chicago injury and accident attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer, P.C. want all drivers that share our roadways to practice safe driving. Unfortunately, many drivers choose to operate their vehicles in a negligent manner, thereby risking the safety of other motorists.

If you or a loved one were injured in auto accident, and you suspect that it may have been the result of a negligent driver, contact an accident lawyer for a FREE personal injury consultation today online at, or by phone at (773)516-4100.

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