Distracted driving is one of the most serious problems with drivers on the road. Distracted driving causes 10% of fatal car accidents by drivers under the age of 20. Drivers in their 20s cause 27% of fatal distracted driving crashes, leaving the other 73% to drivers of any other age. Looking down at your cell phone for 5 seconds while going 55 miles per hour is the equivalent of driving across a football field blindfolded. Not only can it put your or other drivers' lives in danger, but you can find yourself in a serious lawsuit if you hurt someone on the road. Here are some deadly driving distractions and what you can do to avoid them.
Smoking is a huge distraction. You have to pull your cigarettes out of wherever you keep them, take one out of the pack, find your lighter, light the cigarette, and put the lighter and pack away. Each one of these actions takes your eyes and your mind off of the road. Even if you light a cigarette while you're at a stoplight, you have to glance down every time you ash your cigarette and when you put it out to make sure you get it in the ashtray. Wait until you get to your destination go have a cigarette. If you can't wait, pull over for a few minutes.
Eating is a very dangerous thing to do while you're driving. You often look down if you drop pieces of food, you put it down to pick up napkins, and on top of it all, you're driving with only one hand on the steering wheel. It's understandable to be running late for work and needing your breakfast, but it's better to park after a drive-thru and be a few more minutes late than to end up in a crash because your food was too distracting.
Some GPS devices disable user controls while you're driving the vehicle. It's a safety feature that keeps you from typing in locations and addresses when your eyes should be on the road. If you need to type in a location, pull over for a minute while you do it. A GPS is a fantastic tool, but it's a huge distraction when used improperly.
Talking to other passengers is more distracting than many people realize. Even if it doesn't take your eyes off of the road, it takes your mind off of the road, which is just as deadly. While you're focused on a conversation, someone could slam on their brakes in front of you, and you could notice a few seconds too late. If your friends are in the car, stay out of the conversation while you're driving. If your children are in the back seat fighting, pull over to discipline them.
If you don't know, rubbernecking is when you drive by something, and you watch it as your drive by to get a better look. It happens often when people think that they see someone they know, when an event is going on, or while driving by an accident. While you're looking next to your car, you could be driving right into a car in front of you. If someone else is in the car, ask them what the event is or if they can see what's going on with the accident. If not, pull over if it's that big of a deal to you.
Of course, cell phones are a big distraction to drivers. You hear your phone ding from an incoming text message, and you have to read it to see what someone wanted to say to you. Nothing is important enough to look down at your phone while you're driving. Even talking on the phone is dangerous because it takes your concentration off the road. If someone needs to talk to you because of an emergency, pull over to text or call back, otherwise, they can wait until you reach your destination.
Distracted driving has taken too many lives and caused too many injuries. If you injure someone because you were distracted, you could end up paying big in a lawsuit. Don't put yourself in that position. If you've been involved in an accident because someone was distracted, an experienced auto accident attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve.