Distracted driving has become a real danger on the roads, especially as cell phone use has increased. One glance at a text or one turn to secure an unrestrained pet could have disastrous consequences. Avoid distracted driving, and know your rights if you are involved in an accident with a driver whose attention was not on the road.
What is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving is continuing to operate your vehicle despite distractions that take your mind or your eyes off the road and take one or more hands off the wheel. While some of these distractions might be obvious, like texting or eating while driving, others may surprise you.
What should not surprise you is that driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is considered distracted driving. Never drive while under the influence.
Distracted Driving – Eyes Off the Road:
- Changing the radio station or song on your music streaming service
- Fishing for items on the floor of the vehicle
- Rubbernecking at an accident on the side of the road
- Adjusting the temperature controls of the car
- Scanning the map on your GPS app
- Reading your texts at a stoplight
- Looking at memes a passenger is showing you
Distracted Driving – Mind Off the Road
- Shouting or gesturing angrily at another driver when road rage flares
- Driving while upset or crying after a disagreement or bad news
- Talking on the phone or to other passengers
- Tending to a pet while driving
- Driving while considering work problems or daydreaming
Distracted Driving – Hands Off the Wheel
- Eating, drinking, or attempting to dab spills off your shirt
- Smoking, vaping, finding a cigarette or lighter
- Fussing with your GPS destination or playing a location-based phone game
- Reaching over to comfort a crying child or pick up a dropped toy
- Fastening or fixing a seatbelt
Tips to Avoid Distracted Driving
It can be very tempting to check that text or to make a quick adjustment to the map on your phone. These momentary lapses in attention can be deadly, however. The best way to avoid distracted driving is to remove the temptation to do it.
- Utilize apps that silence your phone when it is in motion. Many will respond to any texts that come in with a message that you are driving. Leave your phone in your purse or in the backseat. Only utilize your phone for emergencies.
- Ensure all children and pets are properly buckled in before driving.
- Secure all items that might roll loose and distract you.
- Limit number of passengers if possible, as well as activity levels. Keep conversation with passengers light. This goes double for novice drivers, as they can easily become more focused on friends than on the road.
- Pull over if you need to make adjustments to a GPS or comfort a child.
- Avoid eating or drinking.
- If you feel drowsy or fatigued, pull over.
Steven A. Bagen & Associates Is Focused on Your Case
If you have been involved in an accident involving a distracted driver, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Contact Steven A. Bagen & Associates to find out how we can help!