The statistics on distracted driving tell a grim story. For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that at least eight people in the United States die every day in crashes where at least one driver was distracted. This type of driving takes many forms. For example, daydreaming about a job promotion, reaching for a fallen object or closing your eyes for a couple of seconds all count. The good news is that being proactive goes a long way, so here are four tips you can use to stay safe on the road and prevent car crashes.
1. Pull over when necessary
When you have kids or pets in your car, distractions are all but inevitable. If your small passengers interfere with your ability to focus on the road, pull over at a safe place at the earliest possible opportunity to remedy the situation. Talk with your children about why it is important for them to behave in the car; having this discussion before getting into the car is a good idea, too.
2. Restrain pets
As for pets, a preventative strategy is to restrain them before you get on the road. Your options include pet-friendly seat belts, barriers and containers.
3. Control your cellphone
Take charge of your cellphone so that it does not control you. Driving is not the time to answer calls or send texts. Good places to keep the phone are in the back seat, glove compartment and even the trunk. Turn it off so you do not hear vibrations or rings.
What if you need your phone for GPS? Of course, an in-car system would be ideal, but is not always realistic. So, program your phone GPS system before you begin driving, and avoid using the phone for anything else. Still keep the phone as far out of your reach as possible, and follow voice commands.
4. Hold off on the food and liquids
Eating while driving can be a recipe for unsafe conditions. For instance, if you stain your shirt, you may unthinkingly reach for a napkin from a food bag or the glove compartment and dip the napkin in water. Then there is dabbing your shirt. The process takes a least a few precious seconds.
Driving while distracted can be deadly and hamper your driving skills. If you or a family member has been the victim of a driver you believe was distracted, you can get in touch with an attorney to review your options.