We might as well label the time period we’re living in right now as “the era of distractions.” There are so many things that seem to demand our attention at any given time. There are texts to read, video clips to watch, new food to eat, online articles to read, social media statuses to update, music to enjoy… the list goes on and on.
These distractions are fine and dandy when you’re sitting in the comfort of your own home or hanging out with friends, but they are a danger when you’re behind the wheel. Distracted driving accounts for a large number of accidents each year, resulting in many injuries and fatalities – all because we stop paying attention to the road.
In honor of Distracted Driving Awareness Month, here are a few of our favorite tips to avoid getting yourself into a dangerous situation while behind the wheel:
Put Texts “On Hold”
It’s happened to all of us – just as we’re about to go somewhere, we get embroiled in a conversation with someone and then need to leave. As we’re driving, our phone alerts us to a response and we know that if we don’t respond, the other person will continue to text with “Hello? Hello?” or something similar. To avoid this situation, simply let the other person know that you’re getting into your vehicle and that you will respond as soon as you get to your destination.
Remember That No Message Is THAT Important
Not only do many of us live and die by our phones these days, we often treat every text message like someone is poking us right in the head. No message is so important that it’s worth risking your life and the lives of others. If you think a text might be an emergency, park your vehicle in a safe spot and take care of it. You can’t help the person on the other end if you wind up being in an accident.
Stop Eating Food with a Fork and/or Dipping Sauces
Many of us are in a rush to go somewhere these days, which means that we sometimes don’t have a choice but to grab a bite to go and eat it on the way to our destination. What you do not want to do is attempt to ingest a full meal that consists of salad, rice, pasta, or anything else that needs a fork. The same goes for food that needs dipping sauces to complete the meal. Eating while driving is questionable anyway and adding these things to the mix are a… say it with us… recipe for disaster.
Set It to “Shuffle”
While technology is often a distraction while driving, it also provides you with ways to be a safer driver in certain situations. Instead of fiddling with your radio or replacing CD’s while driving, you can instead create a playlist on your iPod, set it to “shuffle,” and set it aside. Using the “shuffle” option on your streaming music service is another solution to safely enjoy your tunes. If you don’t shuffle about in your vehicle while driving to hear your favorite music, you’ll be better able to focus on the road.
If in Doubt, Park It
Whether you’re dealing with one of the situations described above or something else (like distracting passengers or feeling drowsy), the safe bet is to park your vehicle and deal with it. This should be a general rule any time you find yourself taking your focus off the task at hand and tending to something else. Nothing is worth risking the safety of you and others.
If you’ve suffered a car accident due to a distracted driver, or any other reason, you’re going to need legal representation that will be on your side. The attorneys at Mintz Law Firm have the experience necessary to ensure an optimal outcome that will help get your life back on track. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.