What is Distracted Driving? Prevent Risks on the Road
It is almost a daily occurrence now. You drive past another driver on the highway and they are not looking at the road, but they’re looking at their cell phone. Cell phone use one of the most common forms of distracted driving. While advanced safety technology has improved cars and reduced fatalities over the years, the incidences of distracted driving have significantly increased, particularly over the past ten years.
Each day in the United States, approximately 9 people are killed and more than 1,000 injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver (CDC).
Categories of Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is categorized into several classifications. These include:
- Visual – Taking your eyes off the road
- Manual – Taking your hands off the wheel
- Cognitive – Taking your mind off driving
Examples of Distracted Driving
Some examples of distracted driving include texting, using a cell phone, eating, reading, talking or arguing with passengers, caring for a child, changing the radio station, and putting on makeup. Want to read more tips and information for the state of MA? Check out these 10 tips for managing driver distractions.
Taking Eyes Off The Road
It’s impossible to drive safely unless the task of driving has your full attention, with both eyes on the road. Any non-driving activity you engage in while behind the wheel is a potential distraction. This can increase your risk of crashing drastically (NHTSA).
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that when driving at 55 MPH, sending or reading a text will take your eyes off the road for an average of five seconds. This length of time is enough to travel the distance of a football field. You can easily see how an accident could be more apt to occur under these conditions.
Massachusetts’ Safe Driving Law
The law bans sending, typing or reading electronic messages to or from handheld devices while operating a motor vehicle. This includes use of the internet and text messaging. The law also bans all handheld electronic by junior operators while behind the wheel.
4 Tips to Prevent Distracted Driving
Laws alone are not enough to prevent distracted driving. Take precautions to ensure that you do not allow yourself to become distracted when you drive. Read through these 4 tips to prevent distracted driving, and ensure you follow these tips whenever you get behind the wheel.
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.
If you are drowsy, pull off the road
Drowsiness increases the risk of a crash by nearly four times. A government study showed that 37 percent of U.S. drivers have nodded off or actually fallen asleep at least once during their driving careers. If you feel tired, get off the road; don’t try to get home faster.
Avoid eating while driving
Being busy is no excuse for distracted driving. Finishing your breakfast on the way to work or school may seem like a time-saver, but it means you are less attentive to the drivers around you. Food spills are a major cause of distraction.
Do your multitasking outside the car
Everyone spends a lot of time in their vehicles, and it may seem like the perfect time to get little things done: calling friends, searching for good music, maybe even text messaging. Don’t do it. Focus on the road and the drivers around you. Get everything settled before you start driving.
Were You In An Accident As a Result of Distracted Driving?
If you’ve been in an accident as a result of distracted driving, Perrault Law may be able to help. Our Car Accident Attorneys will remain responsive and attentive, respecting your need to resolve your case as soon as possible. We will work hard to secure the compensation you need to cover your medical bills and lost income. We can also help you pursue damages for your pain and suffering. Contact us today and let’s discuss your situation.
Categories: Car Accidents