October 25th, 2020 by Fix Auto USA
Distracted driving occurs when drivers take their undivided attention away from the road. At this point, drivers lose focus on what’s most important: doing what’s necessary to drive safely.
Unfortunately, distracted driving is ongoing, and it is a leading cause of car accidents and collisions in the United States. However, drivers who understand the dangers and consequences of distracted driving can eliminate this issue.
Distracted Driving Statistics
Approximately 2,841 lives were lost due to crashes involving distracted drivers in 2018, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Furthermore, NHTSA reports 9% of all fatal car crashes in the United States over the last seven years involved distracted drivers.
What Are the Dangers of Distracted Driving?
Accidents and collisions represent the top dangers of distracted driving — and for a good reason. Drivers who text while they’re on the road, eat or drink, or get lost in thought while behind the wheel are increasingly prone to car accidents and collisions. This is due to the fact that these drivers may take their eyes off the road or hands off the wheel, so they can perform any other task besides driving. Meanwhile, in these incidents, distracted drivers can cause accidents and collisions that result in injuries and fatalities. They are also susceptible to totaling their cars and causing serious property damage.
Consequences of Distracted Driving
Along with potentially causing accidents, collisions, deaths, fatalities, and property damage, distracted drivers can face legal consequences for their actions. In fact, if a distracted driver gets caught, he or she could receive a fine or jail time. A distracted driver who is penalized for their actions may be subject to higher insurance premiums than other drivers as well.
Distracted driving laws vary nationwide. Regardless, it is crucial for drivers to pay attention when they get behind the wheel. If drivers prioritize safety, they can do their part to eliminate the dangers of distracted driving. They can also avoid the consequences of distracted driving.
Tips to Stay Focused Behind the Wheel
Don’t be a distracted driver — instead, use the following tips, so you can stay focused any time you get behind the wheel:
1. Silence Your Cell Phone
Turn off your cell phone or give your phone to a passenger when you drive. If you need to make a phone call or send a text while you are on the road, pull your car to a safe spot on the side of a road or into a parking lot where you can do so. Keep in mind that hands-free calling and voice texting can be a distraction for some drivers, too.
2. Avoid Eating or Drinking
Eat or drink before you hit the road or after you reach your final destination. Remember, eating or drinking can divert your attention away from the road and should be avoided whenever possible. If necessary, hungry or thirsty drivers can visit a restaurant or convenience store to grab a snack or beverage.
3. Maintain Light Conversation
Leave serious conversations outside your car. If you or a passenger want to discuss an important topic, you should do so before you depart or once your journey is complete. Otherwise, tempers can flare during a serious conversation, which may cause you to shift your attention away from the road.
4. Avoid In-Car Adjustments
Before you adjust a child’s seat belt or make any other in-car adjustments, park your vehicle in a safe spot on the side of the road or in a parking lot. This ensures that you can make any necessary adjustments in your car, then depart safely.
Take advantage of these tips, and you can minimize the risk of accidents, collisions, and other dangers of distracted driving.
This blog post was contributed by Fix Auto Pasadena, a leading industry expert and collision repair shop servicing East Los Angeles County.