All sorts of activities behind the wheel can lead to distracted driving accidents. It is common to observe drivers tooling along down the highway doing 70 mph while eating, drinking, applying makeup or doing other personal grooming tasks. People text and drive, make calls, interact with the devices on the dashboard, attempt to read maps or other materials when they should be solely focused on the road ahead of them.
But as it turns out, there is another potentially dangerous distraction that might be present in a car and that could cause the driver to lose control and cause an accident.
Watch out for bugs in the car
Although no updated studies could be found, 18 years ago, Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) researchers conducted a driving study that used cameras in 100 vehicles to observe motorists’ natural behaviors while driving. They learned something quite surprising to most people — the presence of a bug in a moving vehicle causes the collision risk to be six times that of drivers operating with no bugs loose in their cars.
In comparison, driving around with a crawling or flying insect is riskier than applying makeup, reading a book or making a cellphone call. Being distracted by an insect came in second as a risk factor in the study, while “reaching for a moving object” was found to be only slightly more distracting.
Beware of cicada season
Since Georgia is one of the states expected to see the return of the Brood X cicadas, motorists in our state could encounter unwelcome flying passengers in their vehicles. Keeping the windows up and the AC on could reduce the likelihood of an insect-motorist encounter — and any subsequent collisions.
Were you injured by a distracted driver?
Even if you can stay calm when a bug is in the car, there’s no guarantee that other drivers will. If a distracted motorist caused the crash that injured you, seeking compensation by filing a claim for damages is your best option.