Becker, Schroader & Chapman, P.C.
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Can you explain why distracted driving is so dangerous?

Many people in Granite City and throughout the Illinois suburbs of the Saint Louis area can probably recognize by intuition that a distracted driver is a dangerous driver. Some may have noticed on the road how someone messing with his or her cell phone changes lanes and makes turns haphazardly or stops with a jerk at an intersection.

Scientifically, though, it may be harder for a person to understand why exactly distracted driving makes a motorist more dangerous to others with whom he or she is sharing the road. One of the reasons comes down to the fact that bringing a vehicle to a stop, or for that matter, making any kind of maneuver in a vehicle, consists of three distinct elements.

One of these three elements is the amount of time it takes a vehicle to actually stop after a driver applies the brakes. While this depends on speed, it also depends on the weight of the vehicle, the latter of which is not usually in control of the driver. To account for a vehicle's stop time, a driver can slow down and leave a safe following distance, but to some extent, the stopping distance of a vehicle is what it is.

However, a vehicle also continues to travel during that critical time between when a hazard emerges up the road and a driver perceives the hazard and then decides to apply the brakes and actually does so. This is the part of the process in which an attentive driver can move quickly, thus reducing the overall time, and distance it takes to stop.

A distracted driver, on the other hand may travel easily over 100 feet, possibly more, before he or she even notices that he or she needs to apply the brakes or take other evasive action. By this time, it can easily be too late to avoid a car accident.

Ultimately, distracted driving is dangerous because it costs a driver valuable time he or she needs to stop in the event of an emergency. If a Granite City resident feels that he or she has been the victim of distracted driving, legal options may be available to that person via a personal injury cause of action.

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