The dangers of daydreaming while driving

Most drivers in Arizona have probably heard tales about the dangers of driving while using a mobile device. But there's another form of distracted driving that's not getting its fair share of attention -- daydreaming. It's fairly easy for a driver to lose their train of thought as their mind drifts. Unfortunately, all it takes is a brief moment of inattentiveness for a collision to occur.

One insurance company combed through records of the Fatality Analysis Reporting System to develop a better understanding of causes and contributing factors of crashes. Researchers discovered that one in 10 traffic accident victims perished as a result of distracted drivers. Alarmingly, just over 60 percent of fatal distracted driver accidents involved at least one responsible party who was lost in thought. Surprisingly, cellphone use actually ranks a distant second place when it comes to specific types of driver distractions.

As for how to prevent daydreaming while driving, it's not something that's easily accomplished since it's simply human nature for minds to wander. While some companies fully invested in self-driving cars believe autonomous driving technology way minimize distracted driving accidents, vehicles of this nature currently available still require drivers to pay attention behind the wheel. However, some automakers want to tackle this problem by including eye-tracking software in their vehicles to help drivers pay attention when semi-autonomous features are being used.

Regardless of the nature of a driver's distraction, they may still be held legally responsible if they cause a vehicle accident because of inattentiveness. While phone data can usually be used to determine if a driver was using their mobile device when driving, it can be difficult to prove that a driver was daydreaming. A lawyer may attempt to do so by interviewing witnesses or securing traffic cam footage to see if there is visual evidence available. If negligence can be demonstrated, a driver may be held liable for victims' medical costs and other types of expenses and losses.

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  • United States District Court | District Of Arizona
  • Maricopa Country Bar Association
  • State Bar Of Arizona
  • United States Court Of Appeals | Ninth Circuit

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