Distracted driving is a growing concern on our roadways, and its consequences can be devastating.
Unfortunately, it’s painfully easy to become distracted behind the wheel – and some distracted driving behaviors have become so normalized that most people don’t even realize that they’re putting themselves (and others) in danger. These are some of the most common causes of distracted driving.
Texting and smartphone use
Texting and smartphone use continue to be significant problems for drivers, even though the use of cellular devices behind the wheel has been banned in many areas. When you’re focused on your screen, you’re not paying attention to the road. Even a quick glance at your phone can lead to disastrous consequences. To combat this behavior, consider turning your phone on “Do Not Disturb” mode or stowing it out of reach when you’re driving.
Talking on the phone
Maybe you’re conscious that texting is dangerous – but what about answering the phone on a hands-free device? Engaging in a phone conversation diverts your attention from the road and can impair your ability to react to sudden changes in traffic. Again, it’s best to wait until you’ve reached your destination to have a conversation.
Eating and drinking
It’s incredibly common for drivers to grab a drink or a quick bite to eat when they’re on the road.
Juggling a burger, fries or a coffee while you’re driving, however, takes at least one of your hands off the wheel and splits your focus. Plan your meals and snacks ahead of time, and use designated areas for dining to reduce the temptation to eat while driving.
Adjusting the clock, radio or GPS
Changing the radio station, adjusting the volume or selecting a playlist can be surprisingly distracting. So can resetting your clock or plugging a new address into a GPS device. All these actions require taking your eyes off the road and your hands off the wheel. If you need to make changes to any, consider doing so before you even get started.
Distracted driving behaviors are all too common and can result in serious consequences – thankfully, you have the power to make sure that you’re not contributing to this problem by remaining attentive behind the wheel. Yet, others’ actions can impact you regardless of your best efforts. So, if you are in a wreck with a distracted driver, be sure to find out more about your right to compensation for your losses.