There is no way around it: distracted driving is a threat to drivers on the road. While most causes of car accidents are declining, the number of accidents resulting from distractions are on the rise.
Many activities seem harmless while behind the wheel, but if anything diverts an individual's attention away from the road, the results can be disastrous. Luckily, with a few simple reminders, distractions are preventable.
What Is Distracted Driving
In such a busy and fast-paced world, it can be difficult to focus one's entire attention on driving. Sadly, while these distractions may appear harmless they can cause tragic accidents.
Distracted driving is as simple as a phone call, reaching for an item in a purse, or texting while driving. In fact, anytime drivers divert their attention from operating vehicles, it's distracted driving.
Distracted driving inhibits a driver's ability to make decisions, observe road conditions, and react to other motorists. However, distracted driving is preventable in the majority of situations.
The law details distracted driving in three categories:
- Visual Distractions: These actions take the driver’s eyes off the road--such as turning his or her head to look for an item.
- Manual Distractions: These actions take the driver’s hand off the wheel. It only needs to be one hand removed from the wheel.
- Cognitive Distractions: These actions take the driver’s mind off the road. You may have heard the term “highway hypnosis.” This is a cognitive distraction.
Tips to Prevent Distractions on the Road
Here are several ways you can protect yourself, your loved ones, and other motorists by limiting distractions while driving:
1. Get Enough Sleep
Drowsy driving is distracted driving because your faculties are distracted from overexertion. Sleepiness affects your vision, your hearing, and your judgment, which ultimately affects your ability to drive.
In fact, driving while tired is reportedly as dangerous as driving under the influence. Therefore, make sure you get a good night’s rest before you take a long trip, and if you become sleepy while behind the wheel, the safest course of action is to pull over.
2. Secure Loose Items
Many drivers are distracted when items on the middle console fall between the seat and the panel. Unfortunately, reaching for a dropped item takes both your hands and your eyes off of the road for nearly as long as texting.
Place necessary items securely within reach before departing to foster a safe drive. Securing loose items before hitting the road eliminates the need to search for a lost thing while driving.
3. Limit Distractions from Passengers
Additional passengers provide additional opportunities for distractions. When traveling with others in your car, explain to your passengers the importance of focusing on the road. Most people are to oblige to keep the trip safe for everyone.
4. Ignore Electronics
Safety officials have widely publicized the dangers of using your phone while driving. You may be surprised to learn that in the time it takes to read a text, you typically take your eyes off the road long enough to travel an entire football field.
You may think hands-free devices are distraction-free devices, but that’s not true. Hands-free devices cause cognitive distractions for many drivers, and talk-to-text functions are nearly as distracting as texting.
5. Get Ready at Home
While it’s tempting to finish your makeup or change jackets while driving, these activities take your hands and eyes off of the road. Putting on the last touches of an outfit while driving seems convenient, but there is nothing convenient about causing an auto accident.
Therefore, do your best to get ready before heading getting behind the wheel.
6. Secure Pets & Check Seatbelts Before Departure
Seatbelts are literal lifesavers, but realizing that children don’t have their seatbelts on can be huge distractions while you are driving; additionally, an excitable pup can distract a driver if he or she isn’t buckled in. Therefore, make sure you check on everyone’s buckles before you pull out of the driveway!
7. Don’t Eat on the Go
If you’ve ever bitten into a juicy burger while driving, you know how messy and distracting it is. Eating while driving keeps your hands off of the wheel, can divert your eyes from the road, and is generally dangerous. Therefore if you grab a bit to eat, pull over, and grab yourself a seat.
8. Make a Playlist
Acting as DJ while driving is a dangerous habit and entirely preventable. If you want to listen to music while on the road, make a playlist of your favorite songs beforehand. That way, you don’t have to search for the music you want while on the road.
Sadly, not all drivers take these tips to heart. If you face injuries from an auto accident, do not hesitate to contact an experienced El Paso personal injury attorney.
How the Law Offices of Ruben Ortiz Can Help
If you or someone you know faces injury as a result of distracted driving, a trusted personal injury attorney can help you seek the restitution you deserve. Practicing for over twenty years, attorney Ortiz always fights for the best interest of his clients. In fact, our firm has helped tens of thousands of clients get results, and we hope your case is next.
Our initial consultations are free-of-charge, and we work on a contingency-fee-basis, which means you don’t pay unless we win! Let the Law Offices of Ruben Ortiz be your zero-risk path to seeking the help you need after sustaining an injury at the hands of negligence.
The aftermath of a car accident is emotionally and financially draining. Allow us to provide compassionate counsel for you and your case. Let’s get through this challenging time as a team!
Our firm proudly serves El Paso and all surrounding areas. Call (915) 308-8850 now for a free consultation for your case.