Beebe and O'Neil

Distracted driving and Connecticut car accidents

Distracted driving leads to numerous car accidents every year in Connecticut. Distracted driving occurs when the driver's attention is diverted away from the act of driving, and can occur due to a number of different reasons.

Many people become distracted by incoming text messages or cellphone calls. When people are driving and glance at their cellphones to read messages or to answer a call, their eyes are taken away from the road. Other activities, including eating, drinking, talking to other passengers, putting on makeup, reading maps or using a car's navigation system are other activities that can divert attention and lead to accidents.

Texting is the most dangerous, as the act involves distracting three types of attention away from driving. Drivers who text and drive must use cognitive, manual and visual attention to read and respond to text messages. There were more than 400,000 injuries resulting from distracted driving accidents in 2012, a number that demonstrates the significant danger posed by drivers who try to multitask while driving. More than 25 percent of those involved in fatal distracted driving accidents are in their 20s, underscoring the importance of never using cellphones while driving. A quarter of all teenagers admit to responding to at least one text message while they are driving.

With the increased reliance on handheld electronic devices and cellphones, distracted driving has become an increasing problem. Each year, hundreds of thousands of people are injured in a car accident caused by a distracted driver. As a person who looks at their cellphone has their eyes off of the road for an average of five seconds, the amount of time for an accident to occur is short. However, it can only take a second for a person to accidentally swerve into another lane or to rear-end a vehicle slowed in front of them.

Source:, "What is Distracted Driving?", December 27, 2014

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