How Do I Prevent Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving took the lives of nearly 2,900 people in 2018, including drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and bicyclists. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that another 1,000 injuries occur every day as a result of distracted drivers.

These injuries and deaths cost accident victims and their families a great deal of pain and suffering, both emotionally and financially. Although hands-free technology is advancing and safe driving programs are being implemented, it takes more than that to prevent distracted driving. By learning about the dangers of distracted driving and ways to keep yourself focused while driving, you can help keep everyone on the road safer.

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Types of Driving Distractions

It’s easy for drivers to get distracted behind the wheel and oftentimes, drivers don’t even realize that they’re distracted until it’s too late. Several activities can take a driver’s attention away from operating their vehicles, which the CDC classifies as:

  • Visual distractions: Any activity that causes a driver’s eyes to wander off the road. This can cause them to be unable to react when driving conditions change and proper attention is needed.
  • Auditory Distractions: Noises or sounds that divert a driver’s attention away from the road. This can cause them to have a delayed reaction time.
  • Manual Distractions: Taking one or both hands off the wheel to perform tasks. This can cause drivers to veer off the road or hit another vehicle.
  • Cognitive Distractions: Any activity that sidetracks a driver’s focus from driving. This can cause them to be unable to fully process hazards on the road.

Some of the most common driving distractions include:

  • Texting
  • Eating or drinking
  • Reaching or searching for items
  • Smoking
  • Securing a seatbelt
  • Daydreaming
  • Listening to music
  • Adjusting the GPS
  • Looking at billboards
  • Checking or applying makeup

Driving requires your undivided attention. You need to be able to predict and react quickly to what other drivers are doing and handle essential driving functions like steering, braking, or accelerating. Even the most mundane and innocent tasks can decrease the brain’s ability to react effectively, causing a devastating accident to occur in the blink of an eye.

Texting Driver

How to Avoid Being Distracted While Driving

The best way to stop yourself from driving while distracted is to focus your attention on operating your vehicle safely. Talk to your passengers about being courteous when you’re driving so you can avoid unnecessary distractions. Before you set foot in your car, turn your phone on silent and notify those who might contact you that you are driving. If there is an emergency and you need your phone, pull over to the side of the road when safe to do so. Other ways you can stay focused on driving include:

  • Refrain from eating, drinking, or smoking while driving
  • Avoid sightseeing or glancing at billboards while you drive
  • Pull over before adjusting controls in your vehicle or tending to a child or pet
  • Secure yourself and your items before you start driving
  • Keep conversations to a minimum and music low
  • Refrain from driving when you have strong emotions

By doing your part to keep the roads safer, you will not only reduce your risk of being involved in a car accident, but you could also save someone’s life.

Contact a New York Car Accident Attorney Today

Just because you take necessary precautions and practice safe driving habits doesn’t mean other drivers will. Those who engage in distracted or careless driving deliberately disregard the rules of the road and jeopardize the lives of others. You are entitled to pursue full and fair financial compensation for your losses and take legal action against the driver whose negligent actions caused you harm.

If you or a loved one sustained injuries by a distracted driver, The Barnes Firm offers a completely free initial consultation where we will personally listen to your story, educate you on your legal rights, and inform you of any possible legal actions you can take. We offer our clients peace of mind knowing that we won’t collect any fees until we win your case. Complete a contact form or call us anytime to speak with a trusted New York car accident attorney.

The Barnes Firm (800) 800-0000