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Eyes on the road and hands on the wheel seem like two wise actions to take when driving. Attention counts, too. People whose mind drifts away from the road could cause an accident. Yet, many Colorado motorists make the mistake of letting their attention fade, leading to crashes.
Distracted driving mimics drunk driving in some ways. A driver whose mind is not on the road might not stop in time to avoid an accident or could drift into an intersection, never realizing the light changed. Being distracted might not serve as a valid excuse in a civil or criminal trial because drivers have a duty to drive safely and responsibly.
However, people allow themselves to experience cognitive distractions. They might think about how bad their day at work went, or they may daydream about the upcoming weekend. Such mental distractions could cause a crash.
Accidents may result from distractions other than cognitive ones. A rubbernecking driver might become more interested in a police stop and take his or her eyes off the road. Others may look at a GPS display, not realizing that traffic stopped not too far ahead. Drivers could let their eyes drift for a few seconds and pay the price in a personal injury lawsuit.
Manual distractions involve misuse of the hands when driving. One hand on the wheel and one around a coffee mug could present risks. The same may be true when trying to comb one’s hair when operating a vehicle. Distracted driving takes many forms, which may reflect negligence if an accident occurs. Someone choosing to text while driving might face very strong liability claims since the behavior may be indefensible.