A potentially fatal characteristic for drivers is overconfidence in the face of distractions. Drivers may acknowledge that certain activities, such as texting, are major distractions, but at the same time they may assume that they’re able to handle these distractions with relative ease.
Some drivers have received extra scrutiny for these kinds of behaviors. For instance, a report from Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) shows that 94% of teens think of themselves as safe or cautious drivers, while at the same time 76% of them admit to texting while driving and 86% report cellphone use while driving. (As a group, they also acknowledge that these behaviors can be very distracting.)
But it’s important to remember that any driver is susceptible to distractions. Don’t assume that if you have years of experience driving, you’re somehow immune to distractions.
Look, for instance, at a recent crash between a Fort Wayne trooper and a train. The Indianapolis Star reports that the trooper, a 20-year State Police veteran, had looked at his car’s computer for only a moment when approaching a rail crossing. He wound up driving straight through the crossing guards and hitting the train’s engine. He was lucky to walk away uninjured.
Keep in mind the following points:
- Never overestimate your driving ability; if you think a certain activity would be distracting for other people, it would likely distract you as well.
- Years of experience on the road don’t necessarily make you less susceptible to distractions.
- For a serious accident to occur, all it takes is a moment or two of letting your eyes and attention wander off the road.
Please don’t treat distractions lightly or overestimate your driving abilities. As Indianapolis injury attorneys, we’ve worked with people who were badly injured after a crash resulting from distracted driving. Don’t hesitate to contact us for advice and assistance; in the mean time, do your best to stay safe and minimize distractions while driving.