An alarming number of people who get behind the wheel regularly engage in distracted driving, and accidents relating to this hazard are on the rise. As the number of crashes caused by distracted driving continues to climb in Philadelphia, so do the number of auto collisions fatalities and injuries.
In other words, distracted driving can change someone’s life forever. Knowing about ways to minimize the potential risks of these behaviors can help people stay safe while driving.
Distracted drivers are everywhere around you: the mobile phone socialite, the fashionable cosmetician, the in-car DJ, or the three-course-meal king or queen. Distracting yourself with your phone, makeup, music, or food while you are driving can change your life forever.
It is essential to understand the small steps you can take to reduce the risk of avoidable car crashes. On this note, here are some of the ways you can minimize the chances of getting into a road accident caused by distracted driving.
- Wear a Seat Belt
Forgetting to buckle up your seat belt is a terrible mistake, as it may prevent you from collecting compensation for a personal injury if your failure to properly secure yourself contributed to the damages you incurred. In addition, the car seat laws in many states require all drivers to take this important precaution
If you are involved in an auto crash, wearing a seat belt can potentially reduce the severity of injuries you suffer, or help you avoid injury altogether.
If you forget to wear your seat belt or choose not to buckle up, it may increase the chance that you will become injured in an accident. Although different states handle the situation differently, you should know about the rules regarding seat belts in any jurisdiction where you drive.
- Refrain Yourself From Using Your Cellphone
Statistics show that mobile phone use is one of the most prevalent causes of accidents relating to distracted driving, and it is quite common for motorists to use their phones while they drive. This is why there are so many public safety campaigns that urge motorists not to text or make phone calls while behind the wheel.
Even though people are commonly aware of the possible risks associated with mobile phone use while driving, it still occurs and continues to be a severe threat to public safety.
In addition to testing and receiving or making calls, recording videos, taking photos, and video-calling are forms of distracted driving that may lead to devastating situations. These behaviors can be dangerous for all drivers. The most effective way to be safe is by putting your cell phone away while you drive.
- Keeping the Vehicle’s Interior Neat
Loose or excessive items inside your vehicle may become dangerous and distracting to drivers. If items are rolling around in your vehicle or any paper flies around, it can become more likely that you would take your eyes off the road. In addition, loose items may roll under your brake pedal, thereby leading to a severe car crash if you cannot stop your vehicle.
Although keeping your car clean might not be something that people would consider as a safety tip, it may prove to be effective for preventing future auto crashes.
- Keep Your Pets in the Back Seat
Even though many people view their pets as family members, dogs, cats, and other animals may become distractions for motorists.
Before a pet owner decides to take their furry companion for a ride, they should identify a way to safely restrain their pet in the back seat. When an unrestrained pet gets anxious, it may move around inside the car, which can distract the driver. In addition, in the event of an accident, an unrestrained pet can become a projectile that injures passengers within the vehicle.
- Plan Ahead for Your Trip
While distracted driving seems to be pervasive, it can often be prevented with some careful planning and plotting ahead of time. For example, a surprising yet common form of distracted driving is when a motorist chooses to eat or drink behind the wheel. If you plan carefully, you can eat before you hit the road or you can stop at a convenient point mid-journey to refuel your body.
In addition, people can also become distracted by navigation devices. Planning the route ahead of time and not having to rely on a GPS, can help you reduce stress and remove certain distractions from your driving.
- Refrain From Multi-Tasking
According to personal injury attorneys, motorists should always make driving their priority when they are on the road. When a person gets behind the wheel, there is no time for multitasking, whether it is texting, posting on social media, communicating with other passengers, video-chatting, or eating.
- Do Not Use Headphones
It is not a good idea to use headphones while driving. Studies show that wearing headphones creates additional distractions when you are behind the wheel. It is significantly safer to listen to music in the car without wearing them.
- Keep Your Eyes and Attention on the Road
As a driver, the only place for your eyes to be is on the road ahead. You should avoid spending too much time looking at things like eye-catching billboards or cool-looking buildings. Optimally, a driver should move their eyes every two seconds and scan their mirrors every five to eight seconds.
An experienced Philadelphia car accident attorney also reports that driving while fatigued can cause motorist distraction, too. To decrease the likelihood of becoming involved in a car collision, it is best to avoid engaging in distracted driving.