According to the NHTSA, 3,142 people were killed in distracted driving accidents in 2020. You can help save lives by doing your part to prevent different types of distracted driving accidents.
Four Types of Distracted Driving
The Department of Transportation does an excellent job raising awareness about distracted driving regarding the use of cell phones. Unfortunately, they are doing a disservice to the issue by equating it solely with texting while driving.
There are many other types of distractions that drivers should be aware of, such as:
- Visual distractions take your eyes off of the road. Examples of these types of distractions include the driver looking at their phone, dashboard, a GPS device, or a passenger.
- Auditory distractions can come from arguing children, an anxious pet, or the driver paying more attention to music to hear outside sounds.
- Manual distractions can happen when a driver takes their hands off the steering wheel to fiddle with audio or climate controls, reach under their seat or into the backseat, or try to apply makeup, open a beverage can or snack bag.
- Cognitive distractions can remove a driver’s attention from the road if they begin to day dream, get sleepy, or are emotionally distraught.
6 Steps to Avoid Distracted Driving
- Use your cell phone for emergency situations only.
While you’re driving, a cell phone should only be used for emergency purposes. Even then, it’s best to pull over safely to the right shoulder to make a call.
- Social conversations on cell phones should not be carried on while driving.
Even though hands-free calls are not illegal in many jurisdictions, conversing with another person can take your attention away from the road. Especially if you end up having an emotionally heated discussion. It could also cause you to miss important visual and audio cues needed to avoid a crash.
- If you are drowsy, pull off the road.
Drowsiness increases the risk of a crash by nearly four times. A government study showed that 37% of U.S. drivers have nodded off or fallen asleep at least once during their driving careers. If you feel tired, get off the road; don’t try to get home faster.
- You should limit the number of passengers, as well as the level of activity inside the car.
Most state’s graduated driver licensing laws prohibit teens from having teenage passengers in the car with them during their early months of driving solo. Driving with friends can create a dangerous driving environment because novice drivers are focused on their friends rather than the road.
- Avoid eating while driving.
Finishing your breakfast on the way to work or school may seem like a time-saver, but it means you are less attentive to the drivers around you. Food spills are a major cause of distraction.
- Do your multitasking outside the car.
Anyone that spends a lot of time in their vehicles may feel like their daily commutes are the perfect time to: call friends, schedule appointments, and maybe even send a voice text in reply to a message. Don’t do it. Focus on the road and the drivers around you. Get everything settled before you start driving.
Related topic: Is Texting and Driving Illegal in Las Vegas?
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney After a Distracted Driving Accident
Injured by a distracted driver? Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys represent clients in personal injury and accident cases in California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Tennessee, Illinois, and Indiana. Those seeking legal assistance may contact them by calling to schedule an initial free case evaluation.
The information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.