Don’t Multitask and Drive!

file000856409510Did you know that in the average time it takes to respond to a text while driving (5 seconds) while traveling at 55 miles per hour, you have traveled approximately the length of a football field without seeing the road?

What would happen if a deer crossed your path during that time? Or worse yet, a child on a bike? Distracted driving causes serious accidents every day. Cell phones get a bad rap for causing distractions, but drivers engage in all sort of dangerous behavior behind the wheel, including:

  • Eating
  • Drinking
  • Using a map or smartphone for navigation
  • Talking to passengers
  • Changing the music or radio station
  • Grooming

In southeastern Indiana, many of us find ourselves behind the wheel of a vehicle just about every day. Driving the same routes frequently can lead to a false sense of security. After all, you know what you’re doing. You’ve been driving for years. But even the slightest distraction at the wrong moment can lead to a devastating auto accident.

More than 3,000 individuals were killed and approximately 431,000 were injured in auto accidents involving distracted drivers in 2014. Ten percent of drivers in the 15-19 age group who were involved in fatal accidents were reported distracted at the time of the wreck.

As you can see, distracted driving causes thousands of preventable injuries and fatalities. The best way to avoid becoming a statistic? Stay alert on the road.

When traveling, stop to eat your meals rather than going through a drive through and eating while driving. It’s good to take a break during long trips. Hours on the road can dull your senses and make you less alert to dangers and distractions. Making a pit stop lets you recharge and refocus before getting back on the road.

You may be accustomed to starting your daily caffeine intake on your morning commute, but hot coffee can cause major problems on the road. Consider drinking your first cup of the day before getting in the car or waiting until you get to the office. Do you feel like you’re not yourself until you’ve had your first jolt of caffeine? Don’t get in the car until you feel fully awake and alert. Bonus: getting up a few minutes earlier each time gives you time to actually enjoy your coffee and finish your grooming before you get on the road.

If you are driving with passengers and you’re unfamiliar with the area, ask your companions to help you navigate. You can also set your navigation system to give voice commands or read the driving instructions before getting into the vehicle.

If you or someone you care about has been injured in an automobile accident, consult an attorney with experience you can trust. Attorney John Schuerman has over forty years of experience with personal injury claims. He’ll fight aggressively for full compensation for you and your family. Evening and weekend appointments are available in addition to home and hospital visits. Schedule your free consultation today by calling 1-800-274-0045.