Distracted driving: we’ve seen it time and time again on Texas roads and we may have even been guilty of the action ourselves. Whether it’s texting, talking on the phone, operating your GPS, messing with your dashboard, or fitting in a quick meal in the car, it’s an easy habit to fall into and an even harder habit to break. We are on a mission to change that. April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, so we are encouraging all drivers and passengers to put down the phones, ignore the calls, stay alert, and just drive.
According to the National Safety Council, more than 400,000 deaths occurred from vehicle accidents in 2018. Every day, at least nine Americans die in a car crash and another 100 are injured. While we can’t control the actions of other drivers, we can control our own. It is time to make a change and put an end to the distracted driving epidemic plaguing our country.
Tips to Reduce Distracted Driving
- Put your phone in “do not disturb” mode. Even hands-free cell phone interactions can be a huge distraction. Only use your cell phone in emergency situations if possible.
- Never attempt to multi-task. Thinking you can do your make up or eat your lunch while driving is a mistake and oftentimes the very actions leading to an accident
- Map out your route beforehand. Looking down at your GPS takes your attention off the road, and makes you far less alert than you should be. Review the directions before pulling onto the road so you are more aware of where you are going.
- Make sure children and pets are secure. If kids aren’t properly buckled up or if your dog is roaming around unsecure, your attention will be on them instead of your surroundings.
- Don’t reach for it. Resist the urge to reach for items that fall between the cracks or under your car seat while driving.
- Vow not to distract. If someone is driving to meet you or you know someone is in their car driving, try not to text or call until you know they have reached their destination.
- Avoid too many distractions. If too many passengers overwhelm you or keep you distracted, limit the number of people you agree to drive in your car at one time.
- Be the good example. Children watch and absorb the actions of nearby adults. Set a good example and don’t use your phone while driving impressionable kids or young adults.
- Speak your piece. If you see someone clearly distracted while driving, whether using his or her phone or trying to multi-task, speak up. Honk your horn or talk to the driver to make sure they understand you notice and don’t feel safe.
- Talk to your boss. If you drive for work and feel obligated to answer calls or texts during the work hours, talk to your employer. No boss wants to risk the safety of an employee, and will understand your request to respond only when it’s safe.
Distracted driving is negligent driving, and we all owe it to each other to operate our vehicles with complete, undivided attention and alertness. Follow the suggestions above if you find yourself often being a distracted driver. If you already avoid all distractions on the road, feel free to encourage others to do the same. If you do find yourself in an accident due to a distracted or negligent driver, we can help. Contact the auto accident attorneys at Dax F. Garza P.C. today for a free consultation.