How You Can Avoid a Distracted Driving Accident

Driving comes with a serious set of responsibilities—you have a responsibility to yourself, your passengers, and to other drivers on the road. This means following all traffic laws and respecting the rights of other drivers …

man holding black smartphone

Driving comes with a serious set of responsibilities—you have a responsibility to yourself, your passengers, and to other drivers on the road. This means following all traffic laws and respecting the rights of other drivers on the road.

While you may think you’re a responsible driver, have you ever taken your eyes off the road for only a second? If so, you’re not alone. However, this also makes you part of the deadly equation of distracted driving.

To help you avoid this behavior that often results in car accidents that can include fatalities, here are some tips to help you keep your eyes on the road.

Tips to Avoid the Dangers of Distracted Driving

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3,522 people were killed in distracted driving accidents in 2021. To help prevent you from becoming a sobering statistic, here are some tips on how to keep your eyes on the road.

Know the Risks

Knowing the risks associated with distracted driving is a good start. However, this tip refers to recognizing what can cause you to become a distracted driver.

Common distractions are using handheld devices and driving while sleepy. Eating and drinking, even at a red light, is another common distraction. So is paying attention to your passengers instead of focusing on the road.

Did you know that it’s against the law to text while driving in Texas? Fines can be expensive if you’re caught using a smartphone while driving.

Put Your Phone Away

Modern vehicles can often connect to your smartphone, and you can easily control most phone functions with voice commands or by using the vehicle’s infotainment screen. The screen is typically built into the dashboard and placed at eye level, and the goal is to allow drivers to use their phones without taking their eyes off the road.

Use this feature for your playlists stored on your phone. Otherwise, ignore the device. You can always return texts and phone calls when you arrive at your destination. If your response can’t wait, pull over. Find a parking lot or safe place to pull over, and then respond to the text or phone call.

Don’t Drive When Tired

Chances are, you may have driven tired at least once—you’re yawning and having trouble kicking your brain into gear. Even a couple of cups of coffee isn’t enough to fully wake you up to where you need to be.

Yes, you may be a little late for work if you wait to drive until you wake up. However, being late is a better option than getting into an accident. If you’re tired or not completely awake and alert, don’t get behind the wheel.

Statistics compiled by the National Safety Commission show the dangers and true severity of driving when tired: in 2022, an estimated 100,000 car crashes were caused by tired drivers.

Stay Calm Behind the Wheel

Almost everyone has experienced feelings of frustration and anger on the road, since other drivers aren’t always courteous. Some may cut you off in traffic and others may forget to use their turn signals—suddenly, the vehicle in front is making a turn and you’ve almost clipped their bumper.

Don’t get angry or speed up in an attempt to let the other vehicle know how you feel about their driving. Instead of paying attention to the road, you’re focusing on a single driver. Now, you’ve become a potential danger to other drivers. Always stay calm, even when others are driving aggressively or erratically.

Watch Out for Distracted Drivers

You’ve probably noticed distracted drivers before—you know, drivers who are looking at anything other than the road. When you notice this behavior, keep a safe distance between your vehicle and theirs.

Remember the safe distance driving rule? Try to keep a car’s length between your vehicle and the one in front. When you’re driving behind a distracted driver, it’s a good idea to increase the distance.

If you notice erratic driving, pull over and alert the authorities. Don’t dial 911 unless there’s an accident—instead, use the non-emergency number, which is 311. Try to give as much information as possible about the other vehicle, which includes the vehicle’s make, model, and license plate number.

Be Prepared Before You Leave

Do you listen to music, podcasts, or talk radio while driving? If so, get the station set and ready to go before you leave. Program the navigation system if necessary and secure any loose objects. Doing this before you leave helps eliminate some common distractions that may only hinder you on the road.

Contact An Attorney if You’re In a Distracted Driving Accident

Despite taking all necessary precautions, accidents caused by distracted driving can still happen.

If you find yourself involved in a vehicle accident, it’s important to contact a personal injury attorney. They can provide the necessary legal assistance and guidance to navigate through the aftermath of the accident.

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