Have you ever driven while you were distracted? It is hazardous, and it is becoming increasingly common. In the United States alone, 14% of all fatal vehicular accidents involve the use of mobile phones. That is why it is so important to be aware of the risks and take steps to avoid being distracted behind the wheel. Here's what you need to know about distracted driving and how to avoid it.
Distracted Driving Data
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2021, at least 3.4% of drivers visibly manipulated an electronic device while driving. Similarly, those aged 16-24 are the most likely to hold their phones to their ears while driving; those aged 70 and older are the least likely to do so.
When Your Attention Is Away From the Road, You Are Driving While Distracted
Distracted driving includes any activity that takes your attention off the road. This can include talking on a cell phone, texting, eating, adjusting the radio, or even having conversations with passengers in the car. It's important to remember that no matter what you're doing behind the wheel, it needs to be secondary to your main focus—driving safely.
The Consequences of Distracted Driving
The consequences of distracted driving can be steep. In addition to increasing your risk of an accident, distracted driving can also lead to fines or jail time, depending on where you live. That's why it's essential to understand the laws in your area and follow them closely when it comes to using a mobile phone while driving.
The Different Types of Distracted Driving
It's also imperative to understand the types of distractions that can occur in a car. The three different types of driving distractions include:
Visual distractions, such as reading or watching videos, can draw your eyes away from the road and impair your reaction time. As you know, keeping your eyes on the road is critical for safe driving.
Manual distractions, such as reaching for an object or fiddling with the radio dials, can take your hands off the wheel and increase your risk of an accident. It is vital to keep both hands on the steering wheel at all times.
And cognitive distractions, such as engaging in conversations with passengers or daydreaming while driving, can cause you to lose focus on the task at hand—driving safely. This type of distraction may seem innocent enough, but it can be just as harmful as the others.
How to Reduce Your Risk of Getting Into a Distracted Driving Car Accident
If you want to reduce your risk of a distracted driving accident, there are several steps you can take.
First, it's important to minimize distractions while driving. Put away your phone and avoid looking at other screens or conversing with passengers.
Second, if you do need to use your phone or another device while driving, pull over in a safe area before doing so.
Lastly, plan by researching directions ahead of time or setting up hands-free devices for calls and music.
Distracted driving is dangerous, but it doesn't have to be the norm. By being aware of the risks and taking steps to minimize distractions behind the wheel, you can help keep yourself and others safe on the roads.
Amarillo Personal Injury Attorneys
If you have been involved in a car accident related to distracted driving and need a personal injury attorney, the skilled team at Wood Law Firm LLP can help. With 30 years of combined experience, we can help you understand your options and guide you through your case. Contact us today for a free consultation. We are ready and willing to do everything in our power to help with your case now.