Driving is something that requires your eyes on the road, hands on the wheel, and mind focused on the task of driving. Anything that interferes with these is considered a distraction behind the wheel.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that distracted driving is responsible for approximately nine deaths and over 1,000 injuries in the U.S. each day. Here are some ways that you, as a driver, can take charge of eliminating distractions so you can focus on the road ahead.
1. Make Adjustments Beforehand
Before you hit the road, make any needed adjustments to your vehicle. Make sure systems like your GPS, seat, mirrors, client control, and sound system are working as you need them to. This will ensure that you don’t need to worry about any of these things while you are driving.
2. Limit Activity in the Backseat
Passengers, including small children and pets, may cause you to take your attention from the road. Kids and pets should be secured in the backseat so you don’t have to worry about them getting in the way of your rearview mirror or accidentally hitting your arm and causing you to swerve. If they do require your attention, you should pull over to deal with the situation while you’re not actively driving.
3. Avoid Eating or Drinking
If possible, avoid eating meals or drinking beverages while behind the wheel. This takes your hands off the wheel (as well as your mind, most of the time), which can lead to accidents. Instead, try to eat and drink before you hit the road or after you arrive at your destination. If you need to eat on the go, make sure to snack smart and pack food that you can easily hold with one hand without spilling.
4. Put Away Electronics
Phones and other electronics are easily some of the worst distractions on the road. Looking down to answer a text for five seconds means your car can travel the whole length of a football field while driving at 55 mph. Avoid looking at your phone while driving or answering any messages. You could put your phone on silent while you’re driving and out of your immediate sight so it’s not tempting to check it.
5. Pull Over If Necessary
Lastly, if you need to make any sort of adjustment while behind the wheel, just pull over. Remember that it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Doing this can ensure you get done what you need to while not giving up your attention to the road.
If you or a loved one is injured in a distracted driving accident, turn to the personal injury attorneys at Foley Griffin for seasoned legal advocates in your corner. We will examine the details of your case to determine liability and fight hard for your financial recovery.
Contact Foley Griffin at (888) 966-8480 to schedule your free consultation.