Posted on behalf of Stephens, Anderson & Cummings on Jul 12, 2018 in Auto Accidents
Each day in the U.S., approximately nine people are killed and more than 1,000 injured in auto accidents caused by distracted driving, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Distracted driving occurs when a motorist’s attention is focused away from the roadway and fixated on an object, behavior or another person. If you or someone you love has been injured in a car crash caused by distracted driving, contact Stephens, Anderson & Cumming’s auto accident lawyers in Fort Worth to discuss your legal options for pursuing compensation.
To help motorists avoid accidents caused by distracted driving, our Fort Worth personal injury lawyers have provided the following tips that you can follow while driving. Schedule a free, no obligation consultation to learn more.
Types of Distracted Driving
Knowing the ways you can be distracted while driving can help you better avoid behaviors that may put you at risk of causing an auto accident. There are three types of distracted driving motorists can engage in:
Visual distractions include any object, activity or behavior that causes you to take your eyes off the roadway. This type of distraction may include:
- Looking at your cellphone
- Changing the radio station or song playing in your vehicle
- Adjusting your vehicle settings
- Looking for items in your vehicle
- Focusing on scenery or objects along the roadway
A manual distraction may include anything that causes you to take your hands off the steering wheel while operating a vehicle. Some common types of manual distractions include:
- Eating or drinking
- Using electronic devices
- Searching through a purse, glove compartment, wallet or console
- Adjusting your seat belt
A cognitive distraction is anything that may divert your focus or attention away from driving your vehicle and the roadway. Cognitive distractions that commonly cause car accidents include:
- Road rage
- Being under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Having a conversation with your passengers
- Talking on a cellphone while driving
1. Turn Off Your Cellphone
Cellphone use is one of the most common causes of distracted driving and can including texting, phone calls, checking email and social media and apps downloaded on a smartphone. Using your cell phone while driving significantly reduces your awareness and may prevent you from reacting quickly enough to hazards that may come up.
Additionally, using your cell phone while driving can cause you to engage in all three types of distracted driving:
- Visual: Using your cell phone will cause you to look at the device and takes your eyes away from the roadway.
- Manual: Many tasks on your cell phone cause you to use your hands, which requires you to remove them from the steering wheel. This may include texting, making a phone call or using an app on your phone.
- Cognitive: Using your cell phone while driving will also cause you to lose focus on operating the vehicle and paying attention to the roadway. This may include focusing on texting or engaging in conversation during a phone call.
To avoid using your cell phone while driving, you should turn off your device before operating a vehicle.
2. Do Not Start Conversations with Your Passengers
Another common type of distracted driving occurs when a driver’s conversation with a passenger causes him or her to lose focus on the roadway. This may also occur when there are multiple passengers in the vehicle who are acting unruly or speaking too loudly.
If you plan to travel with passengers, be sure to impose ground rules that help you focus on driving. This may include:
- Having your passengers speak in a quiet manner
- Asking your passengers to refrain from talking to you, unless if there is an emergency
- Traveling with only one passenger, or none
3. Pull Over if You Feel Tired
Drowsy driving occurs when you are fatigued or sleep deprived and still try to operate a vehicle. In many cases, drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving because you are not fully aware of your surroundings and your reaction time may be affected.
Additionally, this may cause you to take your eyes off the roadway or close your eyes if you are drifting off to sleep.
If you feel tired while driving, pull off the road and park in a safe spot as soon as possible. It may help to take a short nap or stop until you feel rested. Another useful tip is to travel with a passenger who is also able to drive in case you feel too tired to continue.
4. Do Not Eat or Drink While Driving
Eating and drinking while driving can pull your attention from driving as well as takes your hands off the wheel and your eyes off the road.
You should always try to avoid eating or drinking while operating a vehicle. To avoid this common behavior, finish your meals before you drive, stop to eat at a restaurant or wait until you have reached your destination to enjoy your meal.
5. Do Not Multi-Task
Many drivers make the mistake of multi-tasking while driving. However, this is a very distracting activity and severely increases your risk of an accident.
To avoid engaging in multi-tasking, try to perform any task you believe is necessary before you begin your trip. This may include:
- Putting the destination into your GPS device before you start driving
- Not looking for dropped or lost objects inside your vehicle
- Avoiding using your cell phone or electronic device
- Choosing a song, playlist or radio station when you are not driving
- Refraining from grooming yourself or applying makeup while driving
Contact Our Attorneys for a Free Consultation
If you were injured in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.
Schedule a free, no obligation consultation to learn which legal options may be available for you to recover compensation after an accident. Our trusted attorneys do not charge upfront fees and we only require payment if we recover compensation for your claim.