What is Distracted Driving?
Do you ever eat while driving? Maybe you are looking in the back seat to tend to kids or pets. Perhaps you text or check your email while behind the wheel.
If you do any of these behaviors, you’re engaging in a dangerous behavior called distracted driving. In 2018, 2,841 Americans were killed by distracted driving. It is one of the leading causes of car accidents. But what exactly is distracted driving?
Distracted driving refers to anything you do while driving that takes your focus off the road. It may be visual, manual or cognitive in nature. Visual distractions take your eyes off the road. This could include adjusting the radio, reading or talking to passengers. Manual distractions involved taking your hands off the wheel, such as to eat or adjust the radio. Cognitive distractions occur when you think about something else other than driving, such as daydreaming or thinking about work or your shopping list. Texting incorporates all three of these.
The top causes of distracted driving are being lost in thought (daydreaming) and cell phone use (texting, calling, using social media or surfing the internet). Outside objects are also distracting. This may include people outside the car, a car accident or an object such as an animal or sign. Occupants inside the vehicle can be a source of distraction as well. Your passengers may want to talk to you, kids may be screaming or your dog may be jumping around the car. Other distractions include eating, drinking, adjusting the radio or climate controls, applying makeup and reading.
Taking your eyes off the road or your hands off the wheel can be dangerous. You can lose control and hit something, causing a serious accident. Many people are injured or killed in crashes caused by distracted driving. Therefore, it is important to know how to avoid them. Here are some ways:
- Turn off your phone. You don’t need to be using it while driving. Turn it off. If you need to use it, pull over and turn it on.
- Know where you’re going ahead of time. Many accidents are caused by lost drivers who are trying to program their GPS or cell phone. Program your navigation before you leave and have an idea of where you’re going.
- Get ready before getting into the car. Don’t rush out the door in the morning and try to multitask while driving. Do your hair and makeup at home. Eat breakfast before you leave.
- Keep children and pets secure. Don’t let your dog have free reign of the vehicle. Keep them in a kennel or enclosed area. Keep kids buckled securely.
Get Legal Help for Florida Car Accidents
Driving requires a high level of attention and when people don’t pay attention while driving can cause serious accidents. Distracted driving can even lead to fatality.
The Tampa car accident lawyers at the Pawlowski//Mastrilli Law Group can help you with your case. Whether your crash was caused by a distracted driver or other reason, we can help you obtain the compensation you deserve. Our team has 25 years of experience. Contact us at (813) 803-6519 or fill out the online form for a free consultation.