Driving while distracted is a leading cause of Arizona personal injury accidents. Driving today has become easier due to new technologies made in cars and in our smartphones. This, however, does not stop the fact that distracted driving is the most dangerous hazard facing us every time we get behind the wheel. In 2014 alone 3,179 people were killed and 431,000 people were injured in personal injury automobile accidents caused by a distracted driver. Distracting driving does not only include texting while driving but also involves: eating or drinking, talking to passengers, grooming, reading, using a navigation system, watching a video, or changing the radio station. Distracted driving is extremely dangerous and can cause unnecessary personal injury litigation, even exposing the distracted driver to punitive damages meant to “punish” them for choosing to endanger other drivers on the road. And, that is expensive.
1. Never Text And Drive. Your phone should be safely placed in the cup holder and no matter what, you should not stop focusing on the road to look down at a text message. While texting, your eyes are off the road for an average of five seconds, which is enough time to create an accident.
2. Sleepy? Pull Over And Take A Nap. If you are driving long distances you could become drowsy while at the wheel. If this happens, pull over and take a nap or switch drivers if you have a friend with you. Driving drowsy is the same as driving while distracted; your lack of focus increases the chances of you causing an accident and personal injuries to other drivers.
3. Avoid Eating While Driving. You’re so hungry that you can’t wait to start eating but if you’re driving you’re going to have to either wait or pull over. Driving while eating can distract you just as much as texting. Spilling food has been shown to be a cause for accidents to happen. Being attentive to the road around you can be the difference between safety and a personal injury lawsuit.
4. Keep Your Car Clean. To avoid a potentially devastating distraction be sure to keep the inside of your car clean. Avoid leaving clutter around or anything that could make a noise that could possibly startle you while on the road or inhibit your driving.
5. Set Your GPS Before Driving. If you don’t know where you’re going and need to use the GPS on your phone or in the car be sure to do so before you begin driving. This allows you to stay focused on the road rather than continually looking at the navigation while driving. If you prefer printed out directions be sure to review the page thoroughly before driving.
6. Restrain Your Pet. We all like taking our pets on the road with us for little trips but it’s important for you, your pet, and other drivers’ safety that you restrain your little buddy. Dogs and cats like to wander around, even when you drive, so secure your pet in a crate or a travel harness.
Giving your full attention to the road allows you the ability to adapt to the environment around you within a reasonable amount of time. If you choose to drive while distracted, you put yourself and others on the road in a potentially devastating situation – distracted drivers cause personal injuries every day.
If you or someone you know and care about are injured by a distracted driver or any other situation, you need aggressive attorneys to fight on your behalf and protect you. Call us today at (602) 726-0747 and let us give you the peace of mind you deserve.