How to Prevent Distracted Driving
Distracted driving has rapidly become as serious a danger to motorists, if not greater, as drunk driving. Over 3,100 people were killed in distracted driving accidents across the country in 2019 alone. Thousands more are injured every year. Distracted driving accidents are unnecessary, avoidable, and preventable. Continue reading for a few tips on how to limit distracted driving. If you’ve been hurt by a distracted driver in Southern California, call an experienced Agoura Hills car crash attorney.
Take Care of Communications Before Getting on the Road
The primary distraction for drivers on the road is texting and other electronic messaging. If you need to send a text, email, or direct message, or even make a phone call, do it before you get behind the wheel. People understand that no one should be expected to respond to a communication immediately when they are in the middle of a drive. If you have a very long commute and need to respond to or otherwise send a message immediately, pull over to a safe place on the side of the road or turn into a parking lot before you send your message.
Use Your Phone Only for Emergencies
If you do need to use your phone while driving, stick to emergency use only. Let your friends, family, and work colleagues know you are on the road and unable to respond. Most phones have a setting for automatic replies to texts, calls, or emails that can let anyone with pressing business know that you are unable to answer at the moment. More often than not, you can simply wait until the end of your commute to respond in any case.
If an emergency arises, however, you can use your phone. If possible, pull over to a safe spot on the right side of the road before making your call. If you need to make any social or professional calls during your commute, take the time to pull over and stop in a parking lot or on the shoulder before making your call.
Take Care of Other Tasks Before Driving
Not all distracted driving involves phone use, although texting while driving is the prevailing cause of distraction-related accidents. Distracted driving includes anything that takes a driver’s hands off the wheel, eyes off the road, or attention off of the task of driving. Many people eat, change clothes, write, read, shave, do their makeup, do their hair, or perform other menial tasks while driving. Any of these tasks can distract a driver and increase the risk of an accident.
To limit the likelihood of an accident, take an extra few minutes to complete any minor tasks before you get behind the wheel. Do your hair and makeup, shave your beard, change your clothes, eat your breakfast, and do everything else you need to do before getting into the car. The two or three minutes you save by performing these tasks while driving is not worth the added risk of serious injury or death to yourself, your passengers, and other motorists on the road.
Limit the Number of Passengers in the Vehicle
Passengers can be a big source of distraction for drivers. Loud conversation and other distractions created by passengers can easily throw a driver off course. Many states prevent teenagers from having other teens in the car while they are driving because these inexperienced drivers, especially, are likely to let conversations with friends drag their attention from the road and enhance the risk of an accident. Particularly for younger drivers, limiting the number of passengers (and limiting interactions with passengers while actively driving) can help reduce the likelihood of an accident.
If you or someone you love has been injured by a negligent or distracted driver in Southern California, call a seasoned and trial-ready car accident attorney at the Halpern Law Firm. We fight for the compensation you and your family deserve. Contact us at (818) 785-5999 today. These cases are handled on a contingency basis, meaning you won’t be charged any attorney’s fees unless we win.