Contrary to what most drivers may believe, texting and driving isn't the only form of distracted driving. According to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving is defined as any activity that could divert attention from the primary task of driving. This could be anything from eating or drinking to putting on makeup or grooming your hair.
When looking at distracted driving, researchers have classified it into three separate groups:
- Cognitive - Taking your mind off of driving.
- Manual - taking your hands off the steering wheel.
- Visual - taking your eyes off the road.
Types of Distracted Driving
Drivers can experience many types of distractions behind the wheel. It's essential to try to avoid distractions at all times; some of the most common include:
Texting. This is not only the most common form of distracted driving but one of the most dangerous because it is distracting in all three categories. If you struggle with cell phone distractions when driving, try turning your phone off, putting it in a bag in the back seat, or downloading the texting and driving help app. They are all different, but the majority of the apps send a message to anyone who tried to contact you, letting them know that you are driving and cannot get to the phone at the moment.
Eating & Drinking. Eating and drinking in the car may seem like the ideal option for an on-the-go breakfast when running late for work or school. However, this is more likely to create spills, which will deliver your attention from the road when trying to clean it up. If you must eat, try getting things that don't require much attention, like a granola bar, apple, or banana.
Grooming. Putting on makeup or doing your hair while behind the wheel can also pose a huge threat to people on the roads. If you can't give yourself a few extra minutes in the morning for this task, try doing your hair in a style that you can prepare the night before, or bring your makeup and do it once you have arrived at your destination safely.
GPS & Radio. Adjusting your navigation, radio, or climate controls can be very distracting since it requires your eyes to be off the road. Avoiding these technologies can be done if they are set before pulling off and getting on the road. If something changes and needs to be adjusted, pull over somewhere safe and handle the necessary adjustments.
Preventing Driving Distractions
Many preventative measures can be taken to beat distracted driving statistics. As listed above, drivers can take precautionary steps that will help them stay focused when behind the wheel, but these aren't the only people who can do something about it. Passengers can also help out when riding with a driver who isn't focused on the road by speaking up and asking them to remain focused, handling and navigation adjustments, or taking over their phone if anyone texts or calls them. Parents can also take steps to help their children avoid the temptations of distracted driving by younger drivers by setting consequences, having educational conversations, and leading by example when they are driving their teens around.
Contact an Attorney
If you or someone you know was injured in a distracted driving-related accident, it may be beneficial to work with a lawyer. They can be viable resources to understand your case's details and inform you of any legal options you may have. Here at Butwinick Injury Law, we have the experience to fight cases just like yours, so you don't have to be alone. Let us help you!
Contact us today at (855) 812-3110 or visit us online to schedule your free consultation with one of our award-winning attorneys.