How to Prevent Distracted Driving
Car crashes can happen for a wide range of reasons, but the sad reality is that many of those crashes were completely preventable. Crashes caused by distracted driving are just one type of extremely preventable car crash.
When we talk about distracted driving, it’s important to remember that it can be much more than using a phone behind the wheel. Making phone calls or texting while driving are definitely some of the most common ways distracted driving occurs, but they’re not the end all, be all of distracted driving. Anything that can take your mind or eyes off the road or your hands off the steering wheel is considered distracted driving. Whether you’re heading out on a long road trip or to the grocery store, here are some of the best ways you can prevent distracted driving.
Eliminate Potential Distractions
Before you start driving anywhere, it’s important to make sure to think about some of the key things that might take your focus off the road. For example, a lot of people have a hard time resisting the urge to check their phone anytime they hear a notification come in. Or it can also be very tempting to mess with the temperature controls and seat adjustment mechanisms if you aren’t quite comfortable.
As you get ready to head out, take a moment to deal with any of those potential distractions. Are your car’s mirrors properly adjusted? Is your seat comfortable? If it’s hard for you to resist checking your phone, make sure it is set on silent — or better yet, put it in your bag or glove box so that it will be out of reach. Do you need to use GPS for your trip? If so, make sure you have your route programmed before you leave. If there’s anything else you might legitimately need, like a pair of sunglasses, make sure they’re easy for you to reach when you need them.
When people are in a situation where they’re running late, they might be tempted to do things like brush their hair, do their makeup, or eat meals while they’re driving to work. We all run a little bit late sometimes, but when it happens, it’s best to eat or take care of your personal grooming either before you leave or once you’ve reached your destination. Any time you might be saving by doing this in the car simply isn’t worth the risk that comes with distracted driving.
Secure Loose Items
As we take our cars around corners and curves, sometimes things like phones, sunglasses, and other small items can be moved out of place or bags can tip over and their contents can spill out. When that happens, it can be very tempting to try and reach for them right away, but it’s best to wait until you are parked in a safe place. To prevent this sort of thing from happening, make sure things like bags are zipped, boxes and bags are stored in a way that will prevent sliding, and other small items are secured.
Be Smart About Passengers
Most people find themselves driving with at least one other passenger in the car with them at some point or another. For some people, it might be a daily occurrence, but for others, it could be more of an occasional thing. But for many people, young drivers in particular, a car full of people can be a distraction.
Passengers aren’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, passengers can actually be helpful in eliminating distractions while you drive. With a passenger, you have someone to do things like answer your phone or reply to text messages if necessary, take care of the kids, or handle other things that might come up. But with a large group of passengers, it can be easy to get distracted by conversations and take your mind off the road. Young drivers may also have limitations on how many passengers they can have with them at a time.
Distracted driving is a prime example of how so many good, responsible drivers can end up being injured in car accidents. If you’ve been injured in a car accident, don’t hesitate to contact a car accident lawyer as soon as possible. When you contact Goodwin & Scieszka, you’ll be able to get help from an experienced Michigan car accident lawyer who will be able to answer all of your questions and help you understand your legal options. Contact us today for help with your case.