Help End Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is an ever-increasing risk on roads all across the country. Americans lead busy lives and have more and more technology that helps them manage these lives. Multitasking is an encouraged skill in our culture. Unfortunately, there’s at least one place where multitasking can become deadly: in your car. In 2017, distracted driving was attributed to at least 8.5% of crash fatalities– 3,166 people. This staggering statistic moves most of us to learn more about the problem and what we can do to help end distracted driving.
An experienced personal injury lawyer can inform you of your rights if you or someone you know has been injured by a distracted driver.
The auto industry continues to produce vehicles with more connectivity than ever before, effectively making multitasking the accepted norm when behind the wheel. However, doctors are now learning that the human brain does not actually have the ability to perform two cognitively demanding tasks at the same time. Multitasking is a myth. Instead of performing two tasks at once, the brain actually switches back and forth between tasks. Each task is then completed at decreased performance rates.
Thankfully, the distracted driving epidemic has been brought to our attention and campaigns across the country aim to snuff it out. Public awareness is getting better and you may have already made a pledge to refrain from distracted driving. There is still more that can be done. You may not realize that even when you aren’t behind the wheel, there are ways in which you are contributing to the unsafe, and in some states illegal, habits of your friends and loved ones.
So What Can I Do?
If you see or suspect someone of distracted driving, start by talking to them. Explain the risks they face and tell them how you feel about their habits. If you are in the vehicle with a distracted driver and feel unsafe, ask them to pull over and stop. If you, yourself are driving distracted, remember that you are not only risking your life and the life of your passengers but everyone else on the road.
The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) gives us these tips for managing distracted driving:
- Switch Off and Stow Away
Before starting your car, turn your phone to silent and then stow it somewhere out of reach.
- Record a Driving Message
When you’re on the road, record a message that tells other callers as much and explain that you will return their call when you have safely exited your vehicle.
- Pull Over
If you absolutely must make a call en route, pull over to do it. Find a safe area off of the main road to stop and make the phone call.
- Use Your Passengers
Ask a passenger to make the call for you. Passengers can be your co-pilot to find directions on the GPS and to respond to text messages.
- “X the Text”
Never text, read email or surf the web while driving.
Before you leave, set your GPS or thoroughly read printed directions. If you need to change course, pull over to reset your navigation devices.
- Properly Secure Pets and Children
Make sure that all passengers who require your assistance are properly fastened into the vehicle before you set out. If they have needs that need tending, pull over to a safe place before attempting to help them.
- Decline the Call
If someone is calling you when you know them to be driving, do not answer. If they are texting, wait until you know they have stopped to respond. Maintaining your focus on driving is essential. Reading, smoking, eating and drinking are all deadly tasks that can cause far more than a fender bender. When drivers engage in these activities they put everyone on the road at risk.
If you or someone you know was injured by a distracted driver, contact a Personal Injury Lawyer at The Law Offices of Young Wooldridge, LLP. A personal injury lawyer can inform you of legal options you may not know you have.