Avoiding Common Habits That Cause Accidents
After completing driver's education, the rules of the road and safety precautions are fresh in the minds of young drivers. Over the years, however, driving becomes second nature. Drivers begin to cut corners and develop a comfort level with engaging in dangerous habits.
Dean T. Johnson, president and founder of The Sandy Johnson Foundation: Making Our Roads Safer, attributes the 2002 death of death of Sandy Johnson and her mother to "driver conditioning." Johnson and her mother were killed after entering an intersection upon reaching their final destination. Johnson was fixated on one car that yielded the right-of-way, but failed to see the southbound SUV that struck her at 55 mph.
Six dangerous habits
In a National Safety Council (NSC) article, Johnson discusses six dangerous habits many drivers have unintentionally become accustomed to after analyzing accident reports from several crashes.
- Mental compromise: We see it everywhere. Drivers using cellphones, eating, drinking, grooming, programming a GPS, or talking with passengers. Many drivers feel confident and comfortable in their ability to multitask or split their attention between driving and these other activities.
- Cognitive disengagement: Drivers who travel the same route each day often become comfortable enough to allow their attention to drift. Also known as “highway hypnosis,” drivers tend to lose recollection of how they got from point A to point B.
- Tunnel Vision: When drivers focus on a distant part of the road, they tend to lose peripheral vision. This makes it difficult to see what is happening in other lanes or in blind spots.
- Inattentional blindness: When focusing on one thing, such as another car or traffic signals, drivers may miss something else within their field of vision. It could be another car, pedestrian, bicyclists, motorcyclist, or other collision risk.
- Delayed reaction time: Any of the above habits can cause a delay in reaction time, which is crucial in preventing a collision.
Injured in a crash, Philadelphia lawyers will fight for your rights
Johnson attributes these dangerous habits to drivers not being challenged on the road and falling into "comfort zones." They often fail to recognize the consequences of driving distracted, impaired, or reckless, simply because they have done so many times without causing a crash. If drivers don't break these habits now, they may not recognize the danger until it's too late.
If you or a loved one are injured in a crash, the Philadelphia car accident attorneys at Villari, Brandes & Giannone, P.C. can help you build a strong claim against the other driver and his or her insurance company. Contact us today to schedule your free, no-obligation case consultation.