The Centers for Disease Control estimates that 9 people are killed each day in the United States in vehicle accidents that involve a distracted driver. The same report estimates more than 1,000 people are injured in crashes daily that also involve distracted driving. It is not an overstatement to say that distracted driving in America is a public health crisis.
Distracted driving is even easier today than it was twenty years ago. Thanks to portable technology that is designed to keep us connected, driving distracted is easy and all too common. While distracted driving can include eating while driving or talking on the phone, more distracted driving cases are attributed to scrolling through social media feeds, checking emails, browsing the web, or texting on a smartphone while behind the wheel. Studies even show that engaging in a hands-free bluetooth phone call constitutes distracted driving, because the driver is not completely focused on the roadway.
Because our smartphones are always with us, it is easy to fall into distracted driving traps. However, you can develop good habits that will keep you focused on the road and not on your phone.
Lock Up Your Phone
The best way to beat distracted driving is to keep your phone far from your reach behind the wheel. Put it in your briefcase in the trunk of your car or slide it into your glove compartment before you even turn your ignition key.
Tell Your Family
Accountability works with all good habits, including those that are meant to eliminate your own distracted driving. Tell your family members or others who are in the car with you often that you are actively working to eliminate distracted driving. Encourage them to call you out when you reach for your phone at a stoplight so that you can adjust your behavior to be safer.
Use Maps Wisely
For many drivers, keeping a smartphone locked in the trunk or glove compartment is not realistic because they use the navigation app to get around. You can still use your navigation app without being distracted by incoming texts or messages. Turn off notifications on your phone before driving so that you are not tempted to see what that email is about when you get the ping while driving.
Even if you have good habits to eliminate distracted driving, your fellow drivers on the road may not. If you are involved in a vehicle accident and you suspect distracted driving on the part of others involved, begin working with a personal injury attorney right away. The team at O’Brien Law has a particular passion for advocating for victims of car accidents caused by distracted driving. We will advocate for your best interests throughout the process and your recovery.
Call us today to tell us more about your situation.