How to Prevent Distracted Driving

Consider all the outside elements you encounter on an average daily drive. Likely, you run across other vehicles, pedestrians alongside the road, cyclists, motorcyclists, construction workers, construction zones, traffic signals, and more. In light of even the most everyday obstacles, it is easy to see that driving commands 100% of a driver’s focus; otherwise, your response time to unexpected obstacles suffers. However, American drivers frequently engage in other activities while driving, leading to as many as 100 injuries and nine deaths every day.

What sorts of activities provide the most distraction? Does distracted driving lead to more accidents? How can you prevent distracted driving? In honor of April, Distracted Driving Awareness Month, consider this brief guide to prevent distracted driving.

What Activities Distract From Driving?

Experts agree that distractions exist in one of three types:

Manual Distractions

Manual distractions involve anything the driver does with his or her hands while attempting to drive, such as changing the radio station, eating, or connecting a phone cable. This type of distraction increases reaction time because one of the driver’s hands is off the wheel.

Visual Distractions

Visual distractions cause the driver to look away from the road, such as to read a text message, look at a map, or interact with a passenger. A visual distraction can increase reaction times because the driver does not notice obstacles until much later than usual.

Cognitive Distractions

Cognitive distractions steer the driver’s mind away from the task, such as a daydreaming or a conversation with another person on the phone or in the vehicle. This type of distraction can increase reaction times because the driver remains unaware of obstacles until it is too late to react.

Common distractions such as cell phone usage, interacting with passengers, and eating food can encompass more than one type of distraction. For example, cell phone usage provides a manual, visual, and cognitive distraction, resulting in a situation where the driver experiences a severe drop in reaction time if an obstacle arises. At speeds of 55 miles per hour, your vehicle travels at over one hundred feet per second – even a second’s delay in reaction time can result in your vehicle traveling a hundred feet closer to an accident.

If you or a loved one were a victim in a distracted driving accident, schedule a free consultation with a Chicago car accident lawyer to learn about your legal options. The legal team at Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates can help you secure the compensation you deserve.

How Can You Prevent Distracted Driving?

Although laws exist in most states that make texting while driving illegal, people continue to engage in texting while driving. Supporting the enforcement of distracted driving laws is one way to prevent distracted driving. Holding yourself and your loved ones accountable for reducing distracted driving is another.

Follow these tips for reducing distracted driving.

Discuss Distracted Driving

Lead a discussion regarding distracted driving in your home or office. Emphasize that distracted driving does not only include cell phone usage – other passengers, eating and drinking, changing music, and any number of activities can contribute to distracted driving. Discuss ways your group can reduce distractions.

Set Rules and Enforce Them

Clearly state rules regarding cell phone usage and other distractions while driving and stress that the rules apply to all the drivers in your home or office. Before leaving your driveway, insist that the driver sets the radio, stows the cell phone, and removes all other distractions. Do this each time you use your vehicle.

Require a Pledge

Ask that all drivers in your family or workplace pledge to follow your distracted driving rules. Ask others in your family or workplace to help enforce the pledge.

Be the Example

As a safe driving proponent, you are the first and foremost example for any children in your home or any peers in your office. Follow your own rules at all times so that you inspire others to cut driving distractions out of their lives.

During this Distracted Driving Awareness Month, take the initiative to reduce distracted driving among your loved ones, friends, and coworkers. Refer to this simple guide when beginning the discussion with your group.