When you get behind the wheel of your car, driving should be your only focus. You are taking on the responsibility of maintaining control of your vehicle at all times in order to keep yourself and others on the road safe. To do this, you have to stay alert at all times.
Unfortunately, drivers don’t always do this. Some people perform other tasks behind the wheel, which cause them to become distracted. Distracted driving has become such a problem in the United States that it now outranks impaired driving as the number one cause of accidents. Here are the top causes of distracted driving across the nation.
While it’s true that every person doesn’t own a smartphone, most at least own a cell phone. No matter what brand or type of phone you have, using it in any manner behind the wheel is distracting. Whether you are using your phone to help you navigate, send a text or check in on your friends, your attention is taken away from the road.
Experts suggest putting your phone somewhere out of reach and turning off the ringer, so you aren’t tempted to use it. Some newer smartphones come with a driving feature. If you turn this feature on, the phone senses when you are in motion, silences incoming alerts and sends an automatic reply text saying you are driving and will respond to the sender later.
How many times have you found yourself having a heart-to-heart with a passenger in your vehicle? You may have found yourself forced to listen to an argument between your kids in the backseat. Any conversation in the car can lead to distracted driving, especially if you are turning to look at who you are speaking or listening to.
Conversations in your car should be kept at a normal volume. This will help reduce your level of distraction. Additionally, keep in mind that you can speak to someone without looking at them. It may seem unnatural at first, but when you’re in the car, it is much safer to keep your eyes on the road.
Who wants to drive in complete silence? There’s nothing like driving on a warm day with your favorite music paying and the windows down. Studies have shown that listening to the wrong type of music can not only be distracting but lead to reckless driving. Try to avoid music with a thumping bass line or a rhythm that makes you want to dance.
If you don’t want to ride in a car without a bit of noise, try listening to an audiobook at low volume. Turn on some classical music or even a podcast. You don’t have to drive with the radio turned off, but you do need to make the right decisions with regards to what you listen to.
We’ve all been in a hurry in the morning. We’ve all found ourselves running behind. It’s easy to grab a toaster pastry or run through the nearest drive-thru for a meal and chow down behind the wheel. This can be dangerous. You may spill a drink or catch leaking ketchup with your lap. If you have to take your hands off the wheel to complete an activity, such as eating, it’s an activity that shouldn’t be happening in the car.
We could certainly suggest setting your alarm a few minutes earlier or taking a shower before you go to bed, but it’s not going to stop each instance of falling behind while getting ready. If you find yourself in a rush, do your best to wait until you arrive at your destination to eat a meal. Although you might be hungry while you drive, it is much more important to drive without getting distracted.
If you need to do your hair or put on your makeup, do it before you leave the house. Not everyone performs these beautification rituals behind the wheel, but enough people do to make “grooming” a top cause of distracted driving.
The best suggestion to avoid this distraction is simply to get ready before you leave home. If you are running short on time, you may just have to throw your hair back and put on your face in front of the mirror at the office. There is no way to do these things safely behind the wheel.
Distracted driving can have unintended and severe consequences. Driving is your only task when you get behind the wheel. Everything else can wait.
If you have been involved in a distracted driving accident in Fort Lauderdale, please reach out to our experienced team of personal injury attorneys. We will review the details of your accident, and we will advise you of your legal rights and options. Call us today to schedule your case evaluation.