Do you text and drive? Do you get distracted from all the things going on in your vehicle that you aren’t paying attention to the road? You are not alone. Millions of people all around the world face some sort of distraction while driving. In 2011 alone, 3331 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver. Additionally, 387,000 were distracted driver accidents that resulted in an injury of one or more person. Amongst all the distractions there are in driving, cell-phone use is the number one distraction. Drivers who use hand held devices are 4 times more likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves and others. With more and more things out there that are set to distract us, driving from point A to point B can be as risky as going skydiving. Distraction is a factor in nearly 1 in 5 crashes, and 18 percent of those result in injuries. More than 9 people are killed EVERY DAY as a result of distracted driving.
As a personal injury attorney, I see many accident cases that result from distracted driving. Something as simple as eating a Big Mac or telling your kids to quiet down can distract you from the road and other drivers. I’ve compiled a list of some helpful tips that can help you become a safer and more cautious driver.
- Keep your phone in your purse or put away so you aren’t trying to reach it. You may even need to silence it so you don’t get tempted.
- Don’t text or surf the internet while in your vehicle. I know texting is a very common method of communicating nowadays, but no text is worth you getting into an accident. By keeping your phone out of reach, it stops the temptation of wanting to look at it. Eventually, habit will be formed, and you will not need to text and drive.
- Minimize distractions. Don’t try and swap CD’s, play with your MP3 player, put on makeup, talk to the passenger, try and find an address location, and drive all at the same time. You may be laughing, but trust me, I’ve seen it done. The less distractions you have, the better. If you absolutely have to be “distracted”, try to limit yourself to only one other distraction that doesn’t require your eyes to be off the road for more than 3 seconds. Input GPS information before driving.
- Take a defensive driving course (This saves you money on your car insurance!) This course helps you drive as if you have a “safety bubble” around you. It teaches you how to maintain different buffer zones accordingly with the speed of where you’re at. It also helps prepare you for various unexpected situations that may arise while driving.
- Don’t slam on the brakes. For whatever reason you take your eyes off the road and you suddenly feel the need to slam the brakes, DON’T. Suddenly breaking may throw your car into a spin. The best solution is to lift your foot off the gas, gradually hit the brakes, and steer out of harms way.