Motor vehicle accidents can be devastating. It’s easy to want to attribute crashes to things beyond our control, like blown tires and faulty brakes. But the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that in 94% of motor vehicle accidents, the crash was caused by driver error. These included recognition errors, decision errors, and performance errors.
Car accidents are the number one cause of workplace death, prompting many companies to adopt policies preventing employees from taking calls on the road. At least nine Americans die and approximately 100 more are injured due to accidents caused by distracted driving, according to the National Safety Council.
April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, a campaign designed to raise awareness of and help prevent distracted driving. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some common distractions and offer tips to help you avoid distracted driving.
Common Distractions for Drivers
Mobile phones are one of the top distractions for many drivers. Beyond the obvious distractions related to texts and phone calls, there are notifications from various apps that can grab a driver’s attention. Relying on your mobile phone for directions through a GPS app or voice command can be helpful, but it can also cause confusion and distractions on the road. (When possible, try to get an idea of where you need to go before you get behind the wheel. Try to avoid using voice commands to activate your GPS and instead program the address in when your vehicle is stopped.)
New technology in vehicles can also prove to be distracting. Consider dashboard touchscreens, the video your kids are watching in the backseat, and other technology used in your vehicle.
Eating and drinking in your vehicle, changing the music, and even talking to your passengers can create distractions that could cause major problems. In order to drive safely, you need to be able to fully focus on the task at hand.
Prevent Distracted Driving
One of the best ways to prevent being distracted by mobile devices is to simply turn them off and put them out of reach before driving. Many phones now offer a “driving mode” which allows you to set an automatic text to alert anyone who is trying to text you that you are driving. You could also put your phone on silent/do not disturb while you are behind the wheel.
Be a good role model for others by setting a good example of responsible driving. If you are a passenger and your driver needs to communicate with someone, offer to make the call or send the text on their behalf. It could save both of your lives.
Avoid consuming food and beverages while driving. Don’t get distracted by changing stations or music. Avoid having serious conversations or other talks that could create distractions while you’re driving. Stay safe on the road!
With over 40 years of experience, John Schuerman is a compassionate advocate for injury victims and their families while being an aggressive fighter for justice and full compensation for their claims. If you or a loved one have suffered an injury from a motor vehicle accident, call 1-800-274-0045 today for a free consultation. Evening and weekend appointments as well as home and hospital visits are available.