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The Hidden Dangers that Distracted Drivers Pose

Law Office of Kari Holm Fawcett

You likely see distracted drivers on many types of roadways: interstates, bustling city streets and lonely country lanes. The most obvious symptom that someone is driving distracted tends to be the fact that he or she is on a cell phone, which Maryland law forbids. However, many types of distraction exist. Even daydreaming during a boring stretch of road is a distraction, as it makes the driver less aware of the surroundings and less capable of reacting quickly and appropriately should something occur.

In one way, the dangers such drivers pose are obvious. For example, if you have been injured by such a driver, you may have dealt with (or be dealing with) immense physical and emotional pain, lost wages, disability, massive medical bills and much more. However, there are hidden dangers as well.

Leading by Example

Children often learn by watching their parents, and it is common for parents to be chagrined when they realize their children have picked up a bad habit from them. The same concept applies to distracted driving. Parent A may think nothing of checking his or her email while driving but does not understand the children in the back seat see this behavior and think it is okay. Thus, new drivers have come of age watching their parents engage in blatant distracted driving for years and might feel like it is no big deal.

Of course, some of these children have witnessed dangerous close calls or even been involved in accidents caused by their parents’ driving—hitting a motorcyclist, for example. Kids should not have to learn about the dangers of distracted driving this way, though.

Over-Reliance on Technology

Cars are becoming more capable of driving themselves. For example, your car might automatically slow down if another vehicle merges in the lane in front of you. After spending some time with such technology, it can be easy to let your guard down. You may even be a stickler for the law and stay off your phone and avoid eating and drinking while driving. But if you cannot really drive, what else is there to do? Maybe daydream, maybe chat with passengers—and relying ever more and more on your car to do the driving. That comes with its own set of risks.