How To Avoid Distracted Driving
You have probably heard the statistics on distracted driving and swore that you would never allow it to happen to you. The problem is that even excellent drivers with the best intentions can find themselves distracted on the road for just a few seconds. Unfortunately, diverting your attention from the road for any amount of time can cause a serious crash. That’s why having a plan for avoiding common distractions before you even put the key in the ignition is so important.
Driving with Child Passengers
If you have children, driving with them in the car is probably a part of everyday life. Not only do you need to bring them places like school, sports practice, and the doctor, children too young to stay home alone must accompany you wherever you go. Teach your kids as early as possible that they must not distract you when you’re driving unless it’s an emergency. Of course, babies and toddlers won’t understand this, and older kids may still try to get your attention or fight with one another. If you find yourself feeling tense and distracted, find a place you can safely pull over until everyone is under control.
To avoid this type of situation, pack toys or a quiet activity to keep your children occupied for the trip so you can keep your eyes on the road. They will eventually accept this as part of the routine if you remain consistent.
Cell Phones While Driving Are Only for Emergencies
Most people have a cell phone or smartphone these days, and they’re a convenient tool when used as intended. However, that should never be while you’re driving. No text or review of social media sites is worth the risk to yourself, your passengers, and everyone else on the road. If you witness an accident, need roadside assistance, or experience some other type of urgent situation on the road, pull your car to a safe location before calling for help. Turn your phone off and keep it in the glovebox or in your purse if you find it hard not to look at your phone while driving.
Avoid Eating or Drinking While Driving
We live in a time-crunched society that values convenience, which explains the proliferation of drive-thru restaurants and coffee shops. Just because you can get your breakfast through a window on the way to work or your dinner on the way home doesn’t mean that you should eat behind the wheel. Eating while driving is a major distraction because it takes at least one of your hands off the wheel and your eyes and attention off the road. If you make a habit of drinking hot coffee in the car, you could find yourself seriously injured when you need to brake suddenly.
Pull Over if You’re Sleepy
Drowsy driving is such a huge problem that the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration reports that more than one-third of drivers in a recent survey admitted to dozing off while operating a vehicle. If you feel like you could fall asleep or do for a few seconds, pull the car over to a safe location immediately and close your eyes. You could also consider calling someone to pick you up and coming back to retrieve your car later. A little embarrassment to you or inconvenience to a friend or family member is better than causing a serious accident.
Limit Passengers and In-Car Activity
The more passengers you have, the more likely it is that someone will distract you. This is especially true of teenage and young adult drivers whose passengers are their peers. In Kentucky, 16 and 17-year-old drivers can only have one related passenger for the first six months. It’s also a good idea to ask your passengers to keep their voices low and not to reach for anything like the radio station
When You’re Careful but Other Drivers Are Not
Even when you’re a careful and defensive driver, you can’t control the actions of other drivers. Some simply don’t care about avoiding distractions, which means you or a loved one could become seriously injured as a result. If this has happened to you, please contact John H. Ruby and Associates to learn more about filing a personal injury case. You can reach us at 502-895-2626.