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Bagen Law Blog

Distracted Driving – A Growing Epidemic

Posted by Steven A. Bagen

Jan 7, 2013 3:03:00 PM

Distracted driving is not something confined to teens or truck drivers. Anyone can be distracted while behind the wheel, and this trend is leading to more and more deaths on the nation’s roadways.

It would be nice to imagine that everyone who gets behind the wheel is paying attention to what they’re doing. After all, every time you get in a vehicle, you’re taking your life and the lives of other people in your hands. However, a quick glance at the statistics will show you that this is sadly not the case. The number of distracted driving related accidents continues to grow, despite awareness programs. What should you know about distracted driving?

Know Your Risks

One of the first things that you need to understand is your own risk for being distracted behind the wheel. We tend to think of this in terms of what other people are doing, but it applies to you as well. What might you be doing that causes distraction while behind the wheel? These things can include:

  • Texting
  • Dialing your cell phone
  • Eating while driving
  • Drinking
  • Changing the radio station
  • Attempting to read (books, newspapers, etc.)
  • Conversing with passengers
  • Watching a video

All of us have been guilty of some of these actions from time to time, and have inadvertently put ourselves and those around us in immense danger. If you do any of the mentioned actions above, stop.

Pay Attention

One of the most important tips for avoiding distracted drivers is to pay attention to those around you. Actually, you should be vigilant while on the road anyway, but many of us are lulled by the commonality of driving into a false sense of security. Pay attention to those ahead of you, behind you and beside you. Watch for drivers who are doing the things mentioned above and take steps to avoid them. For instance, if the lady in the car beside you is on her cell phone, change lanes. Slow down so she is ahead of you. Speed up so you can pass her.

Teach Your Kids

While not everyone has children, if you do, it’s your responsibility to teach them the dangers of distracted driving. The federal government has built an excellent website that can be used as a teaching resource, but it is your responsibility to educate your children on the dangers of driving while distracted.

Topics: Car Accidents, Truck Accidents, Bus Accidents