Distracted Driving Awareness and Safety Tips
Distracted driving is a major cause of accidents on the road, resulting in severe injuries and loss of life. Therefore, it is essential to raise awareness of its dangers, and here are some safety tips.
What is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving is any activity that takes your attention away from safely operating a vehicle. This can include talking on the phone, texting, eating, drinking, or even changing the radio. Distracted driving can also be caused by external factors such as billboards, other drivers, or pedestrians. The main types of distracted driving are visual, manual, and cognitive distractions.
- Visual distractions take your eyes off the road, such as texting or looking at a map.
- Manual distractions require you to take your hands off the wheel, such as eating or reaching for something in the car.
- Cognitive distractions take your mind off driving, such as daydreaming or having an intense conversation.
Why is Distracted Driving Dangerous?
Distracted driving is dangerous because it reduces a driver’s ability to react to potential hazards on the road. Therefore, increasing the likelihood of accidents, resulting in injuries and fatalities. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2021, distracted driving claimed 3,522 lives in the United States alone. Texting is the most alarming distraction of all. Sending or reading a text takes a driver’s eyes off the road for five seconds, which is equivalent to driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed if traveling 55 mph.
Safety Tips to Avoid Distracted Driving
It is a preventable problem that requires awareness and action. Here are some tips to help keep you and others on the road safe:
- Put away your phone. Cell phones are the most common cause of distracted driving accidents. If you need to use your phone for navigation or music, set it up before you start driving and use voice commands instead.
- Avoid eating and drinking while driving. Eating and drinking require you to take your hands off the wheel and your eyes off the road.
- Avoid multitasking. Refrain from trying to do other activities while driving, such as applying makeup or reading.
- Take breaks. If you are on a long road trip, take breaks every few hours to stretch your legs, get some fresh air, and avoid fatigue.
- Pull over. If you need to make a call or send a text, pull over to a safe location or wait until you arrive at your destination.
- Stay focused. Try to remain concentrated on driving and keeping your mind on the road. Conversations with passengers or daydreaming are not safe.
- Use technology to your advantage. Many modern cars come with features that can help reduce distractions, such as lane departure warnings, blind spot monitoring, and adaptive cruise control.
Keep in mind, it only takes a split second of distraction to cause an accident. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, speak to a Kentucky Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer as soon as possible. They can advise you on your legal options and help you recover the compensation you deserve.