There’s an endless supply of distractions for drivers these days. Cars are getting more complicated and offer more features that are competing for the attention of the driver. According to the Centers for Disease Control, distracted driving in the U.S. kills an average of 9 people each day. If you find yourself behind the wheel on a regular basis, it’s important for you to understand what constitutes distracted driving. Having the right information can ensure your safety, potentially saving your life and others.
These days, nearly everyone - from teenagers to senior citizens - has cell phones. When you’re stopped at a red light, or stuck in traffic, it’s tempting to grab your phone to send that text or make that phone call you’ve been meaning to return. Try to resist the urge. As a driver, you have a responsibility to be as distraction-free as possible. In 2013, over 300,000 car accidents were caused by texting while driving. Not only does texting while driving increase your odds of getting into an accident, doing so can lead to greater liability in an auto accident settlement.
Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram are on many people’s cell phones and are constantly begging for your attention. Just like texting, using social media takes your eyes and your concentration off the road, increasing the chances of causing an auto accident. If you need to do anything on your phone, whether making a social media post or sending a text, do yourself and your fellow drivers a favor a pull over to use your phone. One simple mistake on the road can lead to serious or fatal auto accident.
Hands-Free Phone Calls
If you have to take a phone call while you are driving, it’s best to have a system set up in your car where you can talk hands-free. Some states require that any phone calls must be conducted with hands-free technology, like Bluetooth. Make sure you take the time and set up a system before you get behind the wheel. The last thing you want is to have to tinker with your dashboard and your phone while you’re driving. Doing so adds distraction and increases your risk of an auto accident.
Staying Safe on the Road
Although it’s best not to take a phone call at all (would you rather your concentration be on a conversation? Or on the task of driving?), if you have to, make sure to do it hands-free. As for texting or using social media, save it for after the drive. Distracted driving causes thousands of auto accidents annually and is one of the leading causes of death among teenagers. Be safe and stay off your phone while you are driving.