Avoid Distracted Driving
In 2013, distracted drivers caused 424, 000 injuries and 3,154 deaths. These numbers make it clear that distracted driving is dangerous. When a driver is distracted, serious injury can result to the driver, passengers and others on the road. For this reason Florida has banned texting and driving and launched “put it down” safety awareness campaigns to encourage drivers to put down cell phones or pull over if they need to drive while talking.
Unfortunately, even with an abundance of campaigns, distracted driving still occurs. Here are some important reminders about how to avoid distracted driving, as well as causing a car accident this season.
What is Distracted Driving?
Not all drivers realize that distracted driving is more than the act of taking your eyes off the road. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration describes three type of distracted driving:
- Visual Distractions: any action that causes a driver to take their eyes off the road. This includes checking phone messages, rummaging through your bag or locating your morning cup of coffee for before a quick sip.
- Manual Distractions: any action that causes a driver to take their hands off the wheel, which impairs a driver’s vehicle control, and reduce a driver’s reaction time. This includes adjusting the radio, messaging, and sending emails.
- Cognitive Distractions: any action that takes your thoughts away from driving. This includes things that we may not see as distracting such as mulling over the day’s events or rehearsing a speech for an important event.
Usually, distractions are combined. Texting is a visual, manual and cognitive distraction, increasing a driver’s chances of causing an accident. In fact, the National Safety Council reported that nearly 28% of crashes involved a driver talking or texting.
How Can I minimize Distracted Driving?
It is clear that driving while distracted is dangerous, and yet drivers continue to operate vehicles while focusing on something other than driving. Most of us can recall being in the car with a driver who was doing something other than driving. It is hard to change behavior overnight, but these tips can help you decrease your distracted driving:
- Avoid texting and driving. Designate a passenger to operate your cell phone if you need to stay connected while driving.
- Make sure your teen does not drive distracted. If you have a teen driver, then make sure you make it clear that texting and driving is forbidden.
- Plan your trip before you start driving. Look up driving directions and place them in your GPS before you start driving.
- Turn your phone off. Or place your phone on silent while you are driving so that you are not tempted to answer calls while driving. If you must use your phone, use a hands free device.
- Adjust your radio or music stream when you are at a red light.
Let an Attorney Help
Distracted driving often leads to serious accidents. If a distracted driver has injured you or a loved one, then you may need help from an attorney. Please contact the Miami distracted driving accident attorneys at the office of Alan Goldfarb, P.A. We can advise you on the best way to file your claim and help you recover fully from your accident. Please contact us today to schedule a consultation.