Drivers in California can become inattentive in any number of ways: by calling, texting, eating, drinking, using a navigation system or even conversing with a passenger. Inattentive driving is dangerous, especially when one enters a highway work zone. A study conducted by University of Missouri researchers found that highway work zone crashes are 29 times more likely among distracted drivers.
Researchers said that this holds regardless of how long drivers are distracted for. To have an idea of how risky inattentive driving is, people should consider how sending a text takes approximately five seconds. In that time, a driver going 55 mph can cover the length of an entire football field without being aware of his or her surroundings. When combined with the narrowed lanes in work zones and the possibility that drivers will not reduce their speed, the result of the study is not surprising.
What made this study unique is that it utilized data from the Naturalistic Driving Study conducted by the Transportation Research Board for its second Strategic Highway Research Program. This data consisted of first-hand accounts of how 3,000 drivers interacted with their vehicles and surroundings prior to causing a crash. The results of the study may help in the development of self-driving cars and the improvement of driver safety and education.
Drivers are responsible for keeping themselves and others safe on the road, and when failure to do this results in motor vehicle accidents, the responsible party can be held liable for the other side’s injuries. Victims should know that they may be eligible for compensation even when partially at fault. To see how strong their case is, they may consult an attorney. If retained, the attorney may help bring together evidence against the defendant, such as the police report and eyewitness accounts.