What Is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving occurs when a driver’s attention is pulled away from the road to something else. It has become a major problem across Idaho and is the cause of many serious car, truck, and motorcycle accidents. Devastatingly, these accidents lead to serious injuries and fatalities.
Examples of distracted driving include:
- Talking on the phone while driving
- Texting while driving
- Eating while driving
- Reaching for something in another seat
- Listening to the radio too loudly or using headphones while driving
- Focusing on passengers to the point where you are no longer paying attention to the road
- Adjusting instruments and other controls while driving
- Paying attention to things going on outside the vehicle, such as on the side of the road or in another vehicle
Distracted driving can be deadly. While you cannot control other drivers on the road, there are things you can do to avoid distracted driving yourself and be a conscientious passenger that helps your driver stay focused. Keep reading for some helpful tips on avoiding distracted driving and what to do if you or a loved one is ever injured in a distracted driving accident.
Tips for Drivers
Distracted driving is preventable. Unfortunately, rates of accidents caused by distracted driving continue to rise. However, you do not have to contribute to this epidemic. As a driver, you have a responsibility to your passengers and the other cars on the road to drive safely. Being aware of the dangers of distracted driving and taking steps to avoid it is one way you can uphold this duty.
Things you can do to avoid distracted driving:
- Do not take phone calls or texts while driving
- Do not apply makeup, shave, or get dressed while driving
- Pull over if you need to access something from another area of the car
- Stop to eat instead of eating on the road
- Adjust your radio, navigation app, etc. before you begin driving
- Set your navigation system to provide driving instructions audibly, so you do not need to look at the screen
- Ask your passengers to help you stay focused on driving
Just as dangerous as distracted driving is fatigued driving. If you are tired or feeling drowsy, don’t drive. If you are already driving and are tired (such as on a long road trip), we recommend pulling over or stopping as soon as possible to rest. If you have a passenger who can drive, try trading off with them so that you both can get adequate rest.
Tips for Passengers
As a passenger, you can help prevent distracted driving. Being aware of how you, as a passenger, affect the driver is the first step. Do your best to not only avoid being a distraction to the driver yourself but look for ways to support the driver and help them avoid other distractions.
Things you can do as a passenger to help prevent distracted driving:
- Assist the driver with navigation and maps
- Assist the driver with adjusting instruments, like radios and air conditioning
- Answer phone calls and send text messages for the driver
- Help other passengers, such as children, so that the driver can stay focused
If you notice that the person you are driving is getting distracted by something or is becoming fatigued, ask them if there is something you can do to help them stay focused on driving. If you are both too tired to drive, it is best to pull over or find another ride.
What To Do If You Are Injured in an Accident
If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident, it might be worth speaking with an experienced personal injury attorney, like ours at May, Rammell & Wells. Auto accidents can be serious, and depending on the nature of your injuries, you may be facing physical, emotional, and economic losses. In situations where your accident and injuries were caused by another driver’s negligence (such as in an accident caused by distracted driving), you may have grounds to file a personal injury claim and seek compensation.
To discuss your case with one of our attorneys today, send us a message online or call our firm at (208) 623-8021.