Distracted Driving and Other Dangerous Behaviors …

The Most Dangerous Driving Distractions

According to DistractedDriving.gov, over 3000 people were killed and 430,000 injured in 2014 alone in car accidents involving distracted driving. As these grim statistics clearly show, distracted driving is one of America’s most deadly killers and we should all work together to put a stop to it. Awareness is obviously the first step. Though it might not be possible to completely reduce accidents or deaths caused by distracted driving informing more and more drivers about it can help to cut these numbers significantly.

Ask any car accident attorney about distracted driving and they will tell you without hesitation that it is one of the most ill-advised things you can do on the road. Remember, always stay alert and focused on the road and avoid these dangerous distractions:

1.General distraction or ‘driving on autopilot’ – You should never get lost in thought while driving a vehicle. As any car accident attorney will tell you, operating a car requires a lot of mental energy, and daydreaming or thinking about something else while you are driving will make you a dangerous driver. The majority of drivers involved in accidents are usually in this category. Not drunk drivers, but distracted drivers.

2.Texting while driving – Texting while driving is one of the worst distractions for any driver. First of all, it is illegal to text and drive at the same time in most states around the country. Second, just the sheer number of car accident injuries and fatalities caused by texting drivers should stop you from even reaching for your phone while on the road. More than 3,000 teen deaths and 30,000 injuries occur each year because of drivers who text while driving. Texting takes a lot of mental energy and makes you think about what you will say to the other person when you should be solely focused on driving.

3.Smartphone use – Smartphones have changed our lives. There are literally thousands of applications available for smartphone users. Driving while taking selfies, dialing, talking, Snapchatting, Facebooking or using any other feature on your smartphone is not a good idea. Using your smartphone will likely involve taking your hand off the wheel which means less stability and more visual and cognitive distraction as you try to manipulate your phone. Don’t call or Snapchat your way to the morgue! Keeping that phone away could save not only your life but also that of another road user whom you could hit while driving.

4.Passengers – Most people do not know that other car occupants are a dangerous distraction to them. As social beings, we all like showing that we are listening to others while they are talking to us. However, talking and looking at your friends while driving can distract you from the great responsibility in your hands; i.e. steering the car!

5.External events or occurrences – Regardless of what is happening off road, always try to keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes looking forward. If you really have to take a look then take your car off the road, switch on the hazard lights and then look. Nearly ten percent of distracted drivers are usually looking at something besides the road!

6.Eating and drinking – Many of us are guilty of this! If you need to eat or drink, do it at the restaurant or in a PARKED vehicle.

7.Grooming – Whether you are applying a few extra touches of makeup or just making sure that your hair is right, don’t do it in the car. Find a good washroom and do all your business there. At least, that way you won’t be putting anyone’s life at risk, including your own.

8.Watching videos – Whether on a phone or tablet, why someone should watch a video while driving is just puzzling to us. Don’t do it, full stop.

As you can see, many people feel the urge to multitask while they are behind the wheel. However, studies have shown that when people multitask, they perform all of the tasks with lowered ability. Since driving is rife with dangers, you always want to be at your best behind the wheel.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, contact Wilshire Law Firm to receive a free case review from an experienced car accident attorney.

Last Updated: 03-24-2017