Distracted driving has become a major problem on the roads as it endangers the lives of drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. Distracted driving is any activity that diverts a person’s attention away from the road, including cell phones or the temptation to grab a bite to eat while driving, as well as daydreaming. As technology usage rises, so have distracted driving accidents. According to recent statistics, distracted driving contributes to a substantial number each year.
Types Of Distracted Driving
Visual distractions are anything that involves taking your eyes off the road. This includes using your cell phone, looking at the radio, checking directions, or even gazing at the scenery. Looking away from the road even for a split second can have severe consequences. According to the car accident attorneys at Rodriguez and Associates, “texting while driving is twice as dangerous as drinking while driving.”
Manual distractions require you to remove your hands from the steering wheel. This includes eating, drinking, reaching for objects, grooming, or adjusting vehicle controls. Even a split-second diversion can have severe consequences.
Cognitive distractions divert your mind from the task of driving. Daydreaming, deep conversations, or personal concerns can compromise your attention and reaction time. Mental engagement is essential for safe driving, and any diversion can be hazardous.
Common Causes Of Distracted Driving
- Cell-phone usage
- Eating and drinks
- Passengers and pets
- Adjusting vehicle controls
Consequences Of Distracted Driving
Engaging in distracted driving has consequences for the driver and everyone else on the road. Some repercussions include:
Increased Risk Of Accidents
The risk of getting into an accident significantly increases with distracted driving. When you aren’t focused, you are less likely to quickly react to sudden changes in traffic or hazards which can lead to accidents, injuries, and even death.
Injuries And Fatalities
The increased likelihood of getting into an accident also increases the likelihood of severe injuries and death. Typical injuries are broken bones, spinal cord injuries, brain damage, and more.
Legal And Financial Consequences
In many jurisdictions distracted driving is illegal and results in fines, license suspension, or even imprisonment. Additionally, if an accident was caused due to your distracted driving, the other driver could sue for personal injury. For drivers with a history of distracted driving, insurance premiums may increase significantly.
Tips For Avoiding Distracted Driving
To mitigate the risk of distracted driving, consider implementing the following preventive measures:
Put Away Electronic Devices
Putting your cell phone in your glove box or in your purse where it is out of reach helps eliminate the temptation to check notifications. This allows you to focus solely on the road.
Limit Passenger Distractions
If you have passengers in the vehicle, establish ground rules to minimize distractions. Engage in conversations responsibly, and kindly request passengers to refrain from disruptive behavior that could divert their attention from driving.
Set Up Vehicle Controls Before Driving
Adjust your vehicle’s controls, like the radio, air conditioning, or GPS, to your preferences before you start driving. This will reduce the need for manual adjustments while driving.
Stay Focused And Attentive
Maintain mental engagement and attentiveness while driving. Avoid daydreaming or getting lost in thoughts unrelated to the task at hand. Stay alert and actively scan the road for potential hazards.
Distracted driving poses a significant threat to road safety, with far-reaching consequences for drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. By understanding the types, causes, and consequences of distracted driving, we can take proactive steps to combat this issue. It is crucial to remain focused, avoid distractions, and embrace safe driving practices. Let’s prioritize attentive driving and make our roads safer for everyone.