Every time you get behind the wheel to drive in Colorado, you understand that you’re obligated to adhere to all safety regulations and traffic laws. Sometimes, when you travel, however, you might not be the driver. You could be riding as a passenger in someone’s vehicle or traveling on foot as a pedestrian. Other people’s driving behavior can have a significant, possibly devastating effect on your life, especially if there’s a distracted driver in your vicinity.
It’s a lot easier to be a distracted driver than most people realize. A seemingly harmless action, such as eating a hamburger on the go because you don’t want to be late for an afternoon meeting that’s across town can turn an uneventful road trip into disaster in an instant. The problem is that you have no control over another driver’s actions. If a distracted driver hits you, it might result in a severe or even life-threatening injury.
Eyes on the road, hands on the wheel
If you recall your early days of learning to drive, you no doubt remember your parent or other instructor telling you to keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road at all times. It’s good advice because two of the three main types of distracted driving are visual and manual distractions.
Your visual focus while driving should always be the road in front of you and your immediate roadway surroundings. You can use your mirrors, for instance, to check what’s happening behind you. If a driver is gazing at scenery along the roadside or looking down at a cell phone, a momentary glance away from the road may be enough to lead to a collision. If hands are adjusting radio knobs, reaching in a pocketbook or typing on a cell phone keypad, the chances for collision greatly increase as well.
A driver lost in thought is dangerous
Cognitive distractions also place drivers and all nearby travelers at risk. You have no way of knowing if the car behind or next to you contains a driver who is rehashing an argument he or she had with a spouse in his or her mind, or is formulating a mental grocery list while trying to change lanes.
Sadly, there are many fatal collisions in Colorado and elsewhere where drivers say they never even saw the vehicle or pedestrian they hit because of losing track of their thoughts at the time.
Know what to do if a collision occurs
Thinking about the possibility that you might be involved in a motor vehicle collision is certainly not one of the most pleasant thoughts you can have today. However, it’s important that you know what to do in the aftermath of a collision, especially if the person who hits you was dealing with distractions while at the wheel.
Seeking medical attention is always the top priority, even if you believe your injuries are minor. In the hours and days that follow a crash, your ability to achieve a fully recovery depends on many factors, including the competence and experience of your medical team, loved ones or friends who can help you at home, and perhaps, your employer and physical therapists as well. Many recovering accident victims also speak with legal advocates to learn how to seek financial recovery for their losses.