Each year, a large number of roadway accidents occur due to distracted driving. In 2014, of the 431,000 distracted driving accidents, nearly 4,000 resulted in fatalities. As the prevalence of smartphone ownership increases, these numbers are expected to go up as well. Avoiding distracted driving makes the roadways safer for everyone. Follow these tips to help you evade the most common forms of distracted driving and stay alert while operating your vehicle.
Common Causes of Distracted Driving
Every few feet along major roads, brightly colored fast food signs offer convenient drive-throughs for hungry motorists. It is so common to not leave your car for a meal that most drivers do not consider eating on the road a form of distracted driving. Studies show that you are nearly four times more likely to be involved in a roadway accident when eating and driving. Play it safe, and save your snacking for when you don’t need to devote your concentration to operating heavy machinery.
Being too focused on keeping your schedule and getting where you need to go can have deadly consequences if you drive while tired. Drivers who believe they can handle a vehicle while they are fatigued often fall asleep at the wheel. In fact, one-third of tired drivers admit to falling asleep behind the wheel. This carelessness has resulted in fatal crashes, millions of dollars in property loss and jail time for the offenders. If your lids are feeling heavy, have a friend take you to your destination.
Several well-publicized media campaigns have worked to educate the public on the dangers of texting while driving. Most states now have laws on the books making the use of a cell phone illegal while driving. Despite these attempts, the prevalence of texting-related accidents persist. According to the National Safety Council, one in four accidents is caused by the driver looking at their cell phone rather than the road. There is no text important enough to endanger the lives of those on the road.
Believe it or not, your fellow passengers can offer a dangerous distraction. Heavy discussions, arguments and distracting behaviors from passengers are all culprits in passenger-related crashes. According to several studies, teens are the group most likely to be susceptible to passenger distraction. Teen boys will often drive more aggressively when a friend is present in the vehicle. Teens tend to pay more attention to the actions of their friends than the road. Limiting your serious conversations to off-road sites and educating teens on the importance of responsible driving will both contribute to putting safer drivers on the road.
Prescription and Over the Counter Drugs
It is safe to say that most people are educated on the perils of the use of recreational drugs while driving. The truth is that many doctor-prescribed and over the counter medications can be just as debilitating. If you are taking any medication, be sure to examine the label to be sure it does not contain a warning against operating heavy machinery while using.
Though refraining from engaging in these distracted behaviors while driving may seem limiting, do not forget that you are controlling the movement and direction of thousands of pounds of metal at high speeds. Stay alert and you will decrease your chances of involvement in a distracted driving-related accident.
If you find yourself involved with a distracted driver and need a Car Accident Lawyer, contact KFB Law.