Distracted driving is among one of the top causes of motor vehicle accidents across the country. While many of us might associate distracted driving with cell phone use, the truth is that one can engage in this dangerously bad habit in many different ways. Essentially, any activity you partake in that requires your attention while operating a motor vehicle is a form of distracted driving.
Below is a list of some of the most common causes of distracted driving:
- Texting and talking: According to the National Safety Council (NCS), 26% of all car collisions involve cell phone use. Even a brief glance at a text or an email can lead to an accident, so save your calls, texts, and other phone-related tasks for later. If something is truly an emergency that requires your immediate attention, pull over someplace safe and address it. No matter how important that call or text is, nothing is worth risking your life over.
- Adjusting the controls in your vehicle: Did a song start playing that you absolutely loathe? It might not seem like a danger to flip through your playlist or change a radio station, but this simple act still takes away part of your attention away from driving. If music is a big deal for your trips, put together a playlist at home that you can listen to all the way through and make sure the temperature in the car is comfortable to avoid having to fiddle around with it later.
- Using a GPS: Many of us rely heavily on GPS devices and would otherwise be lost without them. Of course, you do not have to swear off using a GPS to become a safer driver, but you should absolutely set up the route on your GPS device before you get started on your trip. This includes adjusting its position on its mounting and turning up the volume enough so you can listen to instructions rather than having to look at the display.
- Having conversations with passengers: It might not feel right to drive without conversing with your passenger, but getting engaged in a conversation while driving is a major source of distraction and can easily lead to an accident. If you really feel the need to chat, try to keep the conversation light and keep your focus on the road.
- Dealing with children and pets: Driving with a pet loose in your vehicle is not safe for you or your pet, but unfortunately, lots of people do it. If you are traveling with a pet, make sure it is kept in a carrier to avoid distractions and to ensure it does not get knocked around if you have to make any swift movements to avoid a road obstacle. As for children, they are going to try to get your attention and yell or scream. It is important that you maintain focus on the road and, if something requires your attention and cannot wait, pull over to a safe area to take care of it.
- Daydreaming: We have all daydreamed before, but doing it while on the road is a huge no-no. Your eyes might be on the road, but with your mind elsewhere, you are basically driving on autopilot, which can lead to a serious accident.
If you were injured in a motor vehicle accident that was caused by a distracted driver, you need to hire an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible to ensure you recover the compensation you deserve.
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Car accidents happen every day, often resulting in serious, life-changing injuries. If you sustained injuries in an accident caused by a driver who was distracted at the time, reach out to the experienced car accident attorneys at Scarzafava, Basdekis & Dadey, PLLC in Oneonta for the exceptional legal representation you need to obtain the fair and just compensation you deserve.
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