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The Dangers of Distracted Driving

Distracted driving, unfortunately, is pretty commonplace on our roads today and has led to multiple accidents involving other cars and drivers and even pedestrians. Distracted driving is when the driver is engaging in other activities that compromise the safety of themselves, their passengers, and those around them.

Many different distractions can occur while you are driving:

• Taking your eyes off the road to play around with the radio or navigation system
• Daydreaming or becoming lost in thought
• Listening, using, talking, dialing, or texting on your cell phone
• Rubbernecking- paying more attention to an object or event outside of the vehicle
• Talking or looking at passengers in the car with you
• Eating or drinking
• Adjusting vehicle device controls such as the windows, door locks, or mirrors
• Using or reaching for any kind of device
• Smoking- lighting the cigarette, ashing it, or putting the cigarette out

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 65,000 people have been killed in car crashes, and in those instances, one in ten of those accidents were because of distracted driving.

How to Avoid Becoming Distracted

To avoid distracted driving and to help avoid becoming a statistic, there are several things you can do while driving to keep your focus on the road and yourself and your passengers and those around you much safer.

Put the Cell Phone Down

First, you should never use your cell phone while driving. The cell phone should only be used in emergency situations and even in these cases, if possible, you should still pull to the side of the road. Some think that using hands-free devices while driving is safe.

However, even hands-free can cause a distracted driving accident because any notification or phone call (audio or visual cues) can distract you- even for a moment.

Limit the Passengers

Another reason for distracted driving was paying more attention to the passengers than what you are doing behind the wheel. To eliminate this risk, you should consider limiting the number of passengers you drive with. Limiting the passengers ultimately means less activity inside the vehicle to distract you.

In most states, teens are already prohibited from having other teenage passengers with them while driving because they are usually more focused on their friends than their driving.

Skip the Drive Thru

Hungry? It might be best to skip the drive-thru if you intend on eating and drinking while driving. While you may think you are saving time by eating on the go, you are actually putting yourself and others in danger because while eating, you are distracted and have one hand off the wheel. You could also spill something that can quickly take your eyes off the road, and your attention will fall to the spill.

Skip Multitasking

Even taking a quick drive down the road, you will probably find several cases of drivers multitasking while in motion. Maybe it was the lady applying her makeup with one hand on the wheel, and her face turned toward the rearview mirror. Or maybe it was that teenager on their way to school with their phone in one hand and their attention half on the road.

When you are driving, you are doing just that- driving. Leave the multitasking for when you are out of the car.

Involved in an Accident?

Have you been involved in an accident due to distracted driving? If you were the victim of the accident, then you may be entitled to compensation for the damage and any injuries that you may have incurred due to the accident.

If you have been a victim of distracted driving, you should seek the consultation of an experienced personal injury attorney.