All Distracted Driving Crashes Are Preventable

As a Kansas City motorcycle accident lawyer, I've represented innocent people who were badly injured in accidents across Missouri and Kansas.  Distracted driving is a factor in many motorcycle accidents, and one of the most frustrating aspects of distracted driving crashes is that they are completely preventable. 

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Distracted driving remains one of the greatest hazards for all types of motorists in Kansas City and throughout the United States. In 2017 alone, 3,166 people died in distracted driving vehicle accidents, many of whom rode motorcycles. Motorists in the Kansas City area need to be prepared to do their part in cutting down the dangers posed to motorcyclists and others by distracted driving.

One of the best ways for Kansas City area motorists to cut down on these dangers is by learning about the consequences of distracted driving, especially for vulnerable motorists such as motorcyclists. This will empower Kansas City area drivers to change their behaviors behind the wheel and make the roadway safer for everyone.

Below are several key factors related to distracted driving. Learn the facts about common risky behaviors and commit to eliminating them from your regular driving routine.  If you want to learn more about distracted driving laws in Kansas and Missouri and what you should do after a distracted driving crash, you should check out our Insider's Guide to Distracted Driving Accidents in Kansas and Missouri.

Risk #1 – Averted Attention

Simply put, operating a motor vehicle safely requires 100% of your attention. Every type of roadway poses different immediate threats, so a driver must be prepared to take evasive action in order to prevent a serious accident.

Modern drivers can be distracted by a wide variety of tasks while behind the wheel. Adjusting the stereo, consuming food and drink, manipulating a GPS, texting, and more can all take a driver’s attention away from the road and surrounding vehicles.

Even a moment of averted attention can lead to catastrophic results. An average vehicle travels the length of a full football field (120 yards) in five seconds while maintaining a 55-mph speed. In that time, a motorcyclist may attempt to merge ahead of you. If you fail to notice and reduce your speed appropriately, a severe accident may occur.

Risk #2– Texting 

Though a type of distraction like adjusting the stereo, texting poses an exceptional amount risk to motorists due to its exceptional prevalence. Like other forms of distraction, texting runs the risk of drawing the driver’s attention from the roadway and their hands from the steering wheel. If an immediate issue such as a motorcyclist decelerating arises, they will have far less ability to prevent an accident. 

New drivers, young drivers, and overconfident drivers are especially at risk for sending a text while behind the wheel. Nearly 20% of roadway fatalities in Missouri in 2017 were of people between age 15 and 24. As such, this vulnerable population is most at to undertake risky driver behaviors such texting.

As such, texting and driving is illegal for Missouri drivers under 21. Those caught doing so receive fines, as well as marks against their license. Texting and driving are still prohibited for those over 21, with those being caught being exposed to fines up to $200 per instance.

Risk #3 – Cognitive Distraction

While commuters often have a lot on their mind as they travel, they should remain committed to applying the majority of their cognitive load to the immediate task at hand – driving. Cognitive distractions pose just as much of a risk as manual distractions, such as texting, so it is imperative that Kansas City are motorists keep their mind on the road.

Many motorists enjoy listening to music, radio, and podcasts while they travel. While these forms of entertainment can improve a long journey, they should never be raised to a volume such that it cognitively distracts the driver.

While also a physical distraction to a degree, becoming tired behind the wheel is also exceptionally risky to all people on the road. Acute exhaustion can distract a driver and slow their reaction speed, making an accident more likely. 

Risk #4 – Sharing the Roadway with Motorcyclists

Often through no fault of their own, motorcyclist suffer from decreased visibility on a roadway shared with larger automobiles and semi-trucks. As a result, motorcyclists are more likely to be severely injured or killed as a result distracted driving.

For example, a driver distracted by texting may not notice a motorcyclist move into their blind spot. When the same driver goes to merge into the left lane, they may immediately collide with the unseen motorcyclist, causing a severe accident.

Motorists in the Kansas City area simply must do more to notice motorcyclist. When sharing the roads with a motorcyclist, drivers should commit added attention to ensure the motorists remains full in view and at a safe distance whenever possible.

Cutting down on the previously outlined distracted driving risk factors will also make the roads safer for motorcyclists in the Kansas City area.

If You Are in a Distracted Driving Car or Motorcycle Accident...

Too often, distracted driving leads to motorcycle accidents that result in life-changing injuries. Victims of distracted driving should not be forced to suffer the injustice committed against them. If you or a family member have been involved in an accident resulting from distracted driving, contact our Kansas City accident law firm.

Our Kansas City motorcycle accident attorney is ready to answer your questions and walk with you every step of the way. Call us today at 816-203-0143 for a free consultation, or fill ou the form below. We have helped others in similar positions and are prepared to advocate on your behalf to obtain maximum compensation for the serious injuries that can result from motorcycle crashes.

Kevin J. McManus
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Kevin McManus – Kansas City Personal Injury Attorney
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