For many people, driving comes as second nature and they don’t actually stop to think about their actions. If you are one of those drivers, you may find your mind wandering as you commute to work or drive somewhere in your vehicle. In fact, your mind may take you to another place entirely as you get lost in your daydreams.
It may seem like harmless fun to spend your commuting hours daydreaming but the sad fact is that this isn’t the case. Our Boston injury attorneys know that a daydreaming driver may not be giving the road the attention that it deserves. A new study has confirmed this, showing just how many accidents each year can be attributed to dreaming drivers.
Daydreaming The Most Dangerous Distracted Driving Behavior?
According to a recent Yahoo News article, an Erie Insurance Group Survey has indicated that daydreaming while driving may be the single most dangerous behavior of all distracted driving behaviors.
The Erie Insurance Group conducted its study by looking through data on more than 65,000 car accidents that took place in 2011 and 2012. The researchers found that around 10 percent of fatal car accidents involved distracted driving. The Erie Insurance Group then looked further to try to ascertain exactly what type of distraction was keeping the driver unfocused.
The results were very surprising. While texting and driving or using a cell phone behind the wheel is widely viewed as the most dangerous of all distracted driving behaviors, the Erie Insurance Group actually suggested that something else was FIVE TIMES as dangerous as talking or texting. That something was daydreaming.
Based on the information reviewed, the researchers thus concluded that daydreaming was the cause of 62 percent of all distracted driving accidents in the U.S. as compared with just 12 percent of fatalities that occurred as a result of a driver using a cell phone.
If this is true and daydreaming is really the top cause of distracted driving accidents, this could have a serious impact on the ability to legislate these types of issues. Lawmakers can ban cell phones but they have no way to set and enforce a ban on daydreaming as they cannot read your mind. Thus, preventing distracted driving crashes could be hard since there’d be no clear way to make drivers stop dreaming.
It is worth noting, however, that the data that this study was based on centers around reports from law enforcement that were reached either based on their own observations and/or based on what they were told.
Someone who got into an accident might not want to admit he was using his cell phone, especially when cell phone use is illegal in the state where the driver was operating his vehicle. Thus, knowing that he was obviously not paying attention to the road, the driver might try to claim to the police that he was just daydreaming and try to get away with hiding the fact that he was actually chatting away at the time.
Although it is not clear exactly how many distracted driving cases may have involved a texter/talker who went unreported, the basic fact is that any distracted driving accident no matter what the cause can be devastating. Drivers should thus make sure to commit to not doing anything- from daydreaming to driving on the phone- that would make the risks of an accident increase.
If you or a loved one was involved in a distracted driving accident in Massachusetts, call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment — 1-888-367-2900.
Spate of Fatal Teen Crashes Highlight Need for Parental Involvement , Boston Personal Injury Attorney Blog, March 25, 2013