Distracted driving can have disastrous consequences. So whether it’s texting, using a GPS, or even daydreaming, it’s taking away from the task at hand – driving. Read on for the dangers of inattentive driving and tips on staying sharp and safe behind the wheel!
What is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving is any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, talking to passengers, and fiddling with the stereo, entertainment, or navigation system.
Texting is the most alarming distraction. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed. You’re also not likely to see something right in front of you if you look down at your phone.
Eating behind the wheel is also dangerous. Spilled food can land on your lap and block your view of the pedals. Reaching for a dropped French fry can cause you to swerve into oncoming traffic. And if you spill hot coffee on yourself, you could take your eyes off the road long enough to cause an accident.
Fiddling with the car stereo, adjusting the heat or air conditioning, and programming a navigation system are common distractions that can lead to accidents. Pull over to a safe location if you must do anything while driving.
The Dangers of Distracted Driving
When it comes to driving, there is no such thing as being too careful. Unfortunately, distracted driving is one of the leading causes of accidents and injuries on the roadways today. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving was responsible for 3,450 deaths in 2016 alone.
Many things can take a driver’s attention away from the task at hand, but cell phones are one of the most common culprits. Even just a momentary glance at a text message or phone call can be enough to cause an accident. And hands-free devices are not necessarily any safer; studies have shown that they can still be distracting.
It’s important to remember that anything that takes your attention away from driving is potentially dangerous. That includes passengers in the car, eating or drinking, adjusting the radio, or even daydreaming, so if you find yourself being distracted behind the wheel, pull over somewhere safe and take a break until you can give your full attention to the road ahead.
Tips for Staying Alert on the Road
Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of accidents on the road today. Whether you’re texting, talking on the phone, or just not paying attention, it’s essential to be aware of the dangers of distracted driving and how to stay alert on the road. Here are some tips to help you stay safe:
- Put your phone away. It’s essential to resist the temptation to check your phone while driving.
- Stay focused on the road. It can be easy to let your mind wander while driving, but staying focused on the task at hand is essential. Pay attention to your surroundings and keep your eyes on the road ahead.
- Take breaks as needed. If you’re tired or sleepy, don’t push through it. Instead, pull over at a rest stop or take a break from driving altogether if necessary. It’s better to arrive safely at your destination than risk falling asleep at the wheel.
- Be aware of other drivers. Distracted drivers aren’t always easy to spot, so you must be mindful of all the other vehicles around you. If someone seems like they might be distracted, give them extra space and be prepared to react if necessary.
- Drive defensively. In general, it’s always best to drive defensively.
Even if you follow these tips, you cannot control what other drivers are up to. If a distracted driver hurts you or a loved one, an experienced personal injury attorney can help you pursue your rights and get the financial compensation you deserve.