James V. Murray
How to Avoid Distracted Driving Accidents: 4 Tips to Follow
We'd all like to consider ourselves safe drivers. But the reality is that we all engage in unsafe driving behaviors on a daily basis. Distracted driving may sound like an unimportant offense on the criminal totem pole, but it's far more serious than you might think. In 2015, distracted driving claimed 3,477 lives across the nation -- and considering how ubiquitous our digital devices have become, it's likely to be responsible for more fatalities in the coming years.
It's vital, then, for drivers to catch their own distracted driving behaviors and work to eliminate them from their routine. Otherwise, you could end up causing a serious auto accident that requires help from an experienced attorney. If you want to avoid the possibility of needing assistance from a law firm in the future, you'll want to follow these four tips.
- Make all adjustments before leavingBefore heading out, you should make sure everything is set ahead of time. That means punching an address into your GPS, adjusting your seat and mirrors, eating, and dressing should all be completed before you get out on the road. While some of these actions might seem rather harmless, they all distract from the task at hand. If you find you're in too much of a rush to do them before leaving in the morning, adjust your schedule to ensure nothing could put you (or anyone else) in harm's way. The truth is that our brains are really incapable of multitasking, so don't try to test the limits. Otherwise, you could need help from an attorney sooner rather than later.
- Put your phone awayWhile you do want to be able to easily reach your phone in case of emergency, you should make it a personal policy to put it away for the entirety of your drive. The typical text, phone call, email, or other notification can wait until you've reached your destination. The person trying to reach you would never want you to put your safety at risk to answer their message immediately. If you're tempted to reach into your bag to look at the screen when you hear that notification bell chime, turn it off and put it in your glove compartment. Any attorney will tell you that penalties are becoming stricter for cell phone use while driving, so don't even put yourself in that position in the first place.
- Prioritize your quiet timeYour daily drive to work, school, or the store can be a time for you to get some peace and quiet. But if you're constantly trying to balance the sounds of the radio, the GPS, your phone, and other riders, you're definitely going to be distracted. You are not obligated to have any of these distractions in your vehicle. It's definitely not the time to have a serious conversation or an argument, either. Change your perspective and make it your mission to prioritize a quiet car ride. This will allow you to be completely focused on what you're doing and make decisions quickly, as needed.
- Limit your passengersTo that end, try to put restrictions on how many people are in your car at a given time. Unfortunately, well-meaning friends and family may simply provide a lot of distractions simply by trying to carry on a conversation or pointing out interesting sights along the way. If you feel their presence could put you and your passengers at risk, make it a point to drive alone whenever possible. Even if you're just trying to do a nice thing, you could end up needing help from a car accident lawyer.
It's likely that we've all engaged in distracted driving at some point. But just because it's common doesn't mean it isn't a big deal. One mistake while behind the wheel could result in lasting harm and the need for an attorney. By avoiding these behaviors, you could end up saving a life.