Distracted driving accidents have become so widespread that many people don’t think twice about what they are doing when they get behind the wheel of their car. A driver may feel comfortable eating breakfast or applying makeup while on his way to work because he has done it countless times before without any problems. However, this is not always safe practice – especially if it involves the use of a cell phone or other handheld device.
As the popularity of smartphones has increased, so has the number of accidents caused by distracted driving. Studies have shown that drivers are 23 times more likely to get into crashes if they use their cell phones while driving. And if that’s not enough, driving while texting increases the risk of collision by 23 times or more compared to driving while not distracted. Therefore, here are six tips you can follow to avoid distractions while driving and keep yourself and others on the road safe at all times.
Pull Over to the Side of the Road
If you’re one of those people who enjoy applying makeup, eating breakfast, or sending text messages while driving, then you should try to pull over to the side of the road whenever possible. Although it may feel like you can multitask at times, it isn’t safe to practice and could put yourself and other drivers in great danger. Traveling to work in Hawaii can be jam-packed at times, so finding the opportunities to pull over to the side of the road may be a bit harder. However, if you find yourself driving through a less congested area, then try to take your foot off the gas and look for a safe place to park your car on the side of the road until you have completed whatever task required your attention. If you do all the necessary precautions and still find yourself in an accident while driving, make sure to contact a car accident lawyer in Waipahu as soon as possible. It will help you gain a better understanding of your rights and what steps you should take to recover maximum financial compensation.
Use Bluetooth When Possible
People are often tempted to use their phones while driving because they don’t want to miss any important calls, text messages, or emails that come through during their commute. However, this often leads to distracted driving accidents because people aren’t focusing on what’s happening around them. Although it isn’t safe to text and drive at any time, you can help minimize this risk by using Bluetooth whenever possible. All you have to do is sync your phone up with your car beforehand so that the person calling or texting will be able to hear you while still allowing you access to your phone in case it needs to be used for an emergency.
Give Yourself Extra Time to Get Where You’re Going
You must never rush when driving because this can lead to accidents for several different reasons. However, if you find yourself rushing through your morning commute and trying to multitask at the same time, this could be even more dangerous than usual. Of course, it isn’t always possible to leave extra time in case of traffic or other delays, but you should do so whenever possible. This way, you won’t feel tempted to take risks because you’re running late and will be able to see approaching vehicles much sooner than someone who has left little or no time before arriving at their destination.
Make Sure Your Kids Aren’t Distracting You
Parents often feel tempted to multitask when they are in the car because their children are along for the ride. However, this can be very dangerous and lead to distracted driving accidents if you allow your kids to distract you while behind the wheel. Therefore, make sure that any kids with you are buckled up and ready to go before you head out on the road. If they want to talk or play around, make sure that you either pull over or let them know that they can do so safely but only when it’s their turn to drive. You should also limit your kids’ use of electronic devices when in the car because they may be tempted to play games, text, or chat online while you are driving. This may sound like a good way to keep them occupied, but loud noises could also distract you and lead to driving accidents.
Be Extra Careful When Travelling With Pets
If you have a pet, you know that they often want to go everywhere with you. While it is great to have them along for the ride, your pets may not always want to sit still throughout the ride and they might distract you by barking loudly or moving around in the backseat. They may also be tempted to do things like crawl over your lap or try to sit in your lap while you are trying to drive which can cause huge problems because they often don’t know how dangerous it can be when they aren’t restrained properly. If you’re going somewhere where your pet doesn’t normally go or if they tend to get anxious while riding in the car, you should consider transporting them in a carrier or other form of pet restraint to make sure they don’t distract you while driving. Just make sure it is safe and comfortable enough for your pet because the last thing you want to do is make the road trip stressful for your furry friend.
Don’t Engage in Unnecessary Conversation
Many people feel tempted to strike up a conversation with another driver when they are stuck in traffic or at a red light. Although you may not think this is distracting, it only takes one moment of inattention for an accident to occur and cause serious injury. Even though some people are good at multi-tasking, it is simply not possible for anyone to keep their attention on the road and maintain a conversation at the same time. Therefore, avoid engaging in unnecessary conversation when driving because you never know when something unexpected might happen that could lead to an accident if you’re not fully focused on the road.
It is never worth risking your safety or the life of another person while driving by trying to engage in multiple tasks at once. You should always focus on the road and be fully aware of other cars around you, so you can keep yourself and others safe when behind the wheel. If you want to avoid distractions while driving, keep in mind these tips and make sure you are using common sense whenever you head out on the road.
Photo via Unsplash