April is distracted driving awareness month, and we are doing all we can to encourage drivers to leave the distractions alone. According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly eight people in the U.S. die daily due to distracted driving. Although it may only be only a few seconds that you're focused on something other than driving, it can still be a significant threat to everyone on the road.
This History of Distracted Driving Awareness Month
In the mid 1950s, Chrysler introduced HiFi, a mobile record player. As technology advanced, music stations, cassettes, and other audio outlets became highly demanded. These newly developed technologies turned into a major issue we see in drivers every day.
Common Types of Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is categorized into three groups:
- Manual- taking your hands off the wheel
- Visual- taking your eyes off the road
- Cognitive- anything that takes your mind away from driving
It's commonly mistaken that texting is the only form of distracted driving. There are many elements behind the wheel that can divert your attention from the roads. Other common driving distractions include:
- Eating or drinking
- Adjusting your radio
- Interacting with passengers
- Putting on makeup or grooming hair
- Fidgeting with navigation systems
- Children or pets
Avoiding Driving Distractions
It's essential to take the proper steps before getting in your car to help avoid distracted driving. Preparing yourself prior to pulling off can significantly decrease the need to focus on something other than operating the vehicle. Here are some tips to try next time you are behind the wheel:
Eat first – packing your food to go and eating it during your commute to work may sound like a good idea when you're running late for work in the morning. However, it's a major distraction. Try squeezing in a banana or yogurt before heading to the office, and eat your full breakfast once you have safely arrived.
Preset GPS – before you leave your house, set your destination in your GPS first. If you have to adjust your destination, pull over safely to re-route your trip.
Make a playlist – if you find yourself constantly changing through the music on your phone, try making a playlist for your favorite songs to hear in the car. This way, instead of looking down to find the right song for you, your phone will automatically have it in the queue.
Out of sight out of mind – the best way to avoid using your cellphone is to get it out of your eyesight. Put your phone on silent and place it in your bag or the backseat. This will alleviate your temptations and help you get to your location safely.
Toys or snacks – tending to your child in the backseat while driving can also be a major distraction. Try giving them something to keep their attention while driving; this could be pretzels, apple juice, or even a tablet.
Limit passengers – too many passengers can also be a major distraction to driving. A crash can occur when riding with others, having the radio too loud, or looking at anything other than the road in front of you.
Just Drive Pledge
To help stop distracted driving, the National Safety Council is asking everyone to take the first step by signing the Just Drive Pledge. The NSC is proud to offer a free, ready-to-use resource that will create a distracted driving program that reminds everyone how important it is to #JustDrive.
We Can Help
If you or someone you know has been injured in a distracted driving-related accident, contact an attorney, as you may be entitled to financial compensation. Here at Berelc Law Firm, we are dedicated to fighting for your rights. Let us be your voice.
Call our firm at (706) 914-1915 or visit us online today to schedule your free consultation.