Every single day, an average of nine people is killed in a car accident involving a distracted driver. The Center for Disease Control tracks this figure and also reports that daily injuries top 1,500 people nationwide. Despite the risk factors, many drivers still make mistakes.
Texting and driving tops the list of distractions. A single study showed that 69 percent of drivers surveyed had talked on a phone and 31 percent texted or emailed while driving. Avoiding distractions takes more than willpower. Here are ten tips to increase your safety on the road.
- Put the Phone Out of Reach.
Avoid using a cell phone for anything other than an emergency while driving. If the phone is in the glove box or a bag in the back seat, you are less likely to pick it up “just to check” if it beeps.
- Stop to Check Your Phone.
Having a smartphone in the car is safe and smart. If you are in an accident, get a flat, or just get lost, it can be a lifesaver. If you need to check the route or phone a friend, pull over to do it.
- Eat Before You Drive.
Grabbing breakfast to eat in the car on the way to work or school seems convenient. Multitasking is a big distraction though. Eat before you travel, even if you need to get up earlier.
- Don’t Drive Sleepy.
Sometimes it is necessary to drive early in the morning or late at night. When possible, plan ahead and get extra sleep. For long trips trade driving and rest with another passenger. If your eyelids get heavy, it is time to pull over.
- Limit the Number of Passengers.
Driving with friends can be distracting for teens. Adult drivers also can be distracted by small children or other passengers. Set the rules for your car and stick to them.
- Secure Pets.
When driving with pets, place the animal in a crate. Animals can be anxious in a vehicle and injured in an accident.
- Don’t Drive Upset.
You cannot always predict when a situation might be emotional. Do not drive when you have recently been upset or are crying. It will be difficult to focus on the road.
- Turn the Radio Down.
Noise of any kind can be a distraction. Keep the radio at a reasonable volume and turn it down if you find your mind wandering.
- Learn Good Driving Habits.
Teen drivers are more susceptible to driving distractions, partially due to their inexperience. It is important for teens to practice safe driving habits from the beginning to form a lifelong habit.
- Drive Defensively.
Even if you are doing everything right, another driver might be distracted. That makes it even more important to pay attention to the road and other cars.
Raleigh Distracted Driving Accident Attorney
If you have been involved in a distracted driving accident, contact a local personal injury attorney for legal advice. DeMent Askew can help if you have been injured because of another driver. You may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses and other losses. Get a free case evaluation by calling 919-833-5555.