When we think about distracted driving, most people will think of talking on a cell phone or text messaging behind the wheel.
But according to Allstate, the top five driver distractions include, eating and drinking, adjusting music, interacting with passengers, playing music loudly and reaching into the back seat. Those are things we’re all guilty of, and they are activities that could result in a potentially fatal accident.
Between 4,000 and 8,000 crashes related to distracted driving occur daily in the United States alone. In North America, distracted driving contributes to as many as one-half of crashes reported annually.
Our Tuscaloosa car accident lawyers understand that’s just the tip of the iceberg. According to Insurance Hotline, Americans are also guilty of grooming, smoking, playing with car controls and tending to babies while in the driver’s seat.
Of the more than 65,000 people in the U.S. killed in car crashes over the past two years, one in 10 were in crashes where at least one of the drivers was distracted, according to an analysis by Erie Insurance.
Fully 62 percent of the crashes involving driver distraction occurred in rural areas. Every day, distracted driving kills more than 15 people and injures more than 1,200.
Drivers forget that driving a car is a complex physical and mental operation. Not only does it require coordination and reflexes, it also requires rapid assessment skills and good judgment. Many people think that they can just wing it and get to where they’ve got to be, ignoring the very real and very dangerous risks that come along with navigating our roadways. Distracted driving endangers not only those behind the wheel but also their passengers, fellow road occupants and pedestrians.
That’s why it’s more important than ever to pay attention to the road. In a world sustained by cell phones and staying connected, we’ve got to remember that there’s so much more going on around us. If you’ve got to do something else while you’re driving, like entering a destination on your GPS or tending to a passenger or a child, make sure you pull over and do so safely.
-Know where you’re going before heading out. Avoid using paper maps or altering your GPS while driving.
-Familiarize yourself with your car’s controls before you start out. The location of controls varies from car to car. Know where to find important controls, such as the gearshift, turn signals, windshield wipers, cruise control and headlights before you go, particularly if you’re driving a rental car or a friend’s car for the first time.
-Eat, drink and smoke when you’re vehicle is safely parked. Avoid doing so while driving.
-Get plenty of rest before heading out.
-Secure your passengers and equipment. Passengers, pets and paraphernalia can all distract you from driving if they aren’t managed properly.
-Use your cell phone for emergency situations only. While you’re driving, a cell phone should only be used for emergency purposes. Even then, it’s best to pull over safely to the right shoulder to make a call. Even hands-free devices can still cause you to miss important visual and audio cues needed to avoid a crash.
-Allow enough time so you can eat at the restaurant and not while you’re driving.
Tuscaloosa Car Accident Victims May Get Faster Help With Yellow Dot, Alabama Injury Attorneys Blog, October 1, 2013
Tuscaloosa Traffic Safety and the Launch of “Connected” Vehicles, Alabama Injury Attorneys Blog, September 3, 2013