Missouri who do not have their minds on the road in front of them could be more likely to cause a fatal accident than cellphone users according to a study by Erie Insurance. The company examined 172,000 fatal accidents over a five-year period and found that of the 10 percent of those accidents that were caused by distracted drivers, daydreaming was a factor in 61 percent. Cellphone usage was in second place but far lower at 14 percent.
Although the distracting nature of cellphones for people behind the wheel gets a lot of attention, Erie has done the study a number of times and found daydreaming while driving to be a consistent problem. Unfortunately, it is a difficult one to solve because driving is generally monotonous, and this causes people’s minds to wander.
The semi-autonomous vehicles currently on the road may actually make the problem even worse. Some of these cars may be able to perform a number of tasks without driver input, but they still may need a backup driver to take the wheel in an emergency. However, “Bloomberg” found that in the Tesla Autopilot, drivers tend to become even more complacent despite alerts that try to keep them attentive. Eye-tracking software might be another solution to make sure backup drivers are still alert.
Most car accidents are caused by human error, whether it be distraction, drowsiness, impairment by alcohol or drugs, speeding, or traveling too fast for the prevailing weather or road conditions. People who have been injured due to the negligence of another driver might want to have a lawyer’s help in seeking appropriate compensation for their medical expenses and other losses.