How To Avoid Distracted Driving
There is a growing awareness of how dangerous distracted driving can be.
Distracted driving used to mean adjusting the radio, eating on the go, or even doing your makeup.
Distracted driving is still all of those things, but it’s also texting, checking email, checking social media, and any of the other thousands of things you can do on your smartphone.
Texting and driving has become somewhat of an epidemic.
In a 2012 survey, the NHTSA found that 94% of drivers supported laws banning texting while driving.
However, 14% admitted to reading texts or emails while driving, and that 14% is probably much higher in reality.
No matter what your distraction is, you and everyone else on the road is better off if you wait to check your email, eat that snack, or adjust your eyeliner.
That seems to be easier said than done, so in the article below, we will go over several things that will help you avoid distracted driving.
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Distracted Driving Statistics
People of all ages are guilty of distracted driving.
Every year more and more people are seriously injured due to accidents caused by distractions.
Back in 2009 the NHTSA conducted a large study to determine the role distractions play in traffic accidents. As you read these statistics, keep in mind that things are likely even worse today.
- Using a cell phone, in any capacity, while driving is equivalent to driving with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent
- 16% of fatal crashes involve reports of distracted driving
- 20% of crashes with injuries involved reports of distracted driving
- Drivers who use hand-held devices are 4 times more likely to get into a serious accident
- 5,500 people were killed and 450,000 were injured in 2009 due to distracted driving
- Texting while driving creates a crash risk 23 times worse than driving while not distracted
- 40% of American teens say they have been put in a dangerous situation due to the driver using their cell phone
More than ever before, today’s vehicles come equipped with technology designed to make the driving experience as comfortable as possible.
But that comfort comes with a dangerous side effect.
Any of the features designed to make your ride smooth and comfortable can also distract you from the most important thing: the road.
Your phone, a GPS device, the aux cord, in-car DVD players, and many more things have made the time spent in your car more enjoyable, but it’s important to use them as intended.
None of those devices should be operated while you’re driving.
If one of the devices needs to be used, ask a passenger to do it, or pull off to the side of the road.
We’ve all had the “backseat driver” that thinks they can drive better than we can, or the passenger riding shotgun that wants you to pay attention to everything but the road.
Those passengers are just as distracting as your cell phone.
Organizations that transport other passengers, especially children or adults with disabilities, face another type of distraction.
In situations like these, an assistant or chaperone should be available in the vehicle and respond to passenger distractions so the driver doesn’t have to.
If passenger distractions become overwhelming, you should pull over and deal with the situation.
Every second that your eyes aren’t on the road raises the chances of being in an accident significantly.
How To Prevent Distracted Driving
- Only use your cell phone for emergencies. Even if you have an emergency, it is still best to pull over to use your phone. Even your hands-free device can cause distractions and cause an accident. You should never use your cell phone for social reasons while driving. It’s against the law in many jurisdictions, and you can be fined and ticketed.
- Pullover if you’re drowsy. Drowsiness increases your risk of an accident by nearly four times. A government study showed that 37% of drivers have nodded off or fallen asleep while driving. If you feel tired, pull over. Don’t rush home.
- Limit your passengers. Carpooling saves gas and is better for the environment, but too many passengers can be a bad thing. Driving with friends can create a dangerous driving environment because drivers can become more focused on what’s going inside the car instead of focusing on the road.
- Don’t eat while you drive. If you’re that hungry, eat before or after the drive, and being too busy isn’t a good excuse. Eating your lunch in your car during your lunch break might save you a few minutes, but you become less attentive to the drivers around you.
- Don’t multitask. Most people spend a lot of time in their vehicles, and it might seem like the perfect time to get little things done like catching up with friends, checking email, and making that important phone call. Don’t do it. Get those things done before the drive or when it’s over.
- Plan your route before you go. Plug everything into your GPS before you start driving so there’s never any reason to take your eyes off of the road. If you plan on making any pit stops, plan them ahead as well, so you don’t have to make any decisions on a whim and out yourself and others in danger.
Focus On The Road
When you’re driving, 100% of your focus should be on your driving.
We’ve become numb to how dangerous driving actually is.
When you think about it, we’re in a 3,000 pound piece of metal, hurling 55 mph hour down the road.
An infinite number of things can go wrong, but we’ve become so confident in our abilities that at times we pay zero attention to the road ahead of us.
Things will inevitably go wrong, whether it’s your fault or the fault of someone else.
And when they do go wrong, you need to enlist the help of an experienced car accident attorney.
If you have recently been involved in an accident due to distracted driving, contact The Brown Firm today.
They have years of experience representing people injured in accidents and getting them the settlements they deserve.
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