Distracted driving is a serious problem on roads across America. According to Distraction.gov, 1,000s of people are killed each year due to crashes caused by distracting driving and nearly a half million more people are injured. No matter how brief the time period, any time your eyes are off the road, your hands are off the wheel and/or your mind isn’t on the task of driving, you’re in a dangerous driving situation. Our Yuma personal injury lawyers want you to avoid wrecks on all your road trips by avoiding common distractions while you’re driving.
April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, so it’s a great time to take the pledge to stop driving distracted. According to Distraction.gov, approximately 660,000 drivers across the country are using cellphones or other devices while driving at any given time during the day and the five seconds your eyes are off the road while texting is like traveling the length of a football field blindfolded.
Texting is the most often cited distraction, but other common distractions include:
- Talking on a phone
- Talking to passengers
- Using a navigation system
- Watching a video
- Adjusting music
- Map or other reading
- Eating and/or drinking
- Shifting cargo
Besides self-inducted distractions, other distractions occur on the road itself. This can be especially true in Arizona with its abundant wildlife. Jack rabbits and road runners darting out in front of you can also cause a dangerous distraction.
Tips to Avoid Distractions
Keep your phone accessible, but out of sight, so you aren’t tempted to glance at it when a notification arrives. Also, keep it on silent mode, so you don’t hear the alert and are tempted to sneak a peek. Even when your phone isn’t in your hand, it doesn’t mean you’ve completely eliminated the distraction. Only use your phone after safely pulling off the road. Also, don’t adjust music on the fly, deal with what’s playing until you can stop and change the tunes safely. Sleep deprivation is another form of distraction, because it causes you to lose focus on the road. Avoid driving when you haven’t gotten the recommended seven-nine hours of sleep nightly.
Hire Skilled Yuma Personal Injury Lawyers
While many states are cracking down on cellphone usage and/or texting while driving, Arizona is only one of four without some form of texting ban or limitation. Currently, Arizona bans only include a ban on cellphone usage by school bus drivers, but no text messaging bans for any driver, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association.
However, a bill that bans teen drivers from using a cellphone or other handheld device for the first six months they have their license passed the Senate committee in January 2017 and should go into effect mid-2018.
If you’ve been injured in an accident caused by distracted driving or any reason, contact Lerner & Rowe Injury Attorneys for a free consultation. Our Yuma personal injury lawyers are available to help you 24 hours a day, so call us today at (928) 344-6200.