Every year, April is observed as Distracted Driving Awareness Month to mitigate the prevalence of distracted driving on United States roadways. For instance, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that in 2018, approximately 400,000 Americans were injured in crashes at least partially due to driver distraction. Our legal team at Grossman Roth Yaffa Cohen invites you to join the national effort this April to make our roadways safer.
10 Tips to Keep in Mind this Distracted Driving Awareness Month
- Don’t Text and Drive
Texting and driving is often at the center of distracting driving prevention campaigns, in part because it is alarmingly common among drivers.
It may only take five seconds to send the average text message, but if you are driving at 55 miles per hour, then you have driven the length of an entire football field without looking. Don’t risk it. Wait until you get to your destination to answer a text or, if it is urgent, pull over.
- Talking on the Phone While Driving Is Dangerous
Talking on the phone may seem harmless, especially if you are on speaker or using Bluetooth, but your attention is still being diverted from driving to the conversation. In fact, hands-free and voice-operated devices are extremely distracting, and many experts discourage drivers from using them.
- Listen to Music at a Low Volume
Since loud music can drown out outside sounds, it is considered a form of distraction. It is much safer to delay loud music until you get home.
- Don’t Overload Your Car with Passengers
Music is not the only sound that can be distracting; noisy passengers can also be very distracting, particularly when you are driving in a new area. A good way to prevent this is to limit the number of passengers you agree to drive. After all, even the quietest passengers can seem rowdy if your car is overloaded.
- Don’t Eat while Driving
Eating while driving can take your attention -- and eyes -- off the road, not to mention one hand off the wheel. It is best to pull over instead. Luckily, there is a silver lining to this: your food may be more enjoyable when you are able to give it your full attention.
- Set Up Your Navigation App or GPS Beforehand
Looking down at your dash or phone to review your route while driving is as dangerous as texting and driving. Prevent this distraction by reviewing the route ahead of time. It may also help to take a moment before leaving to ensure you punched the correct address into the GPS.
- Leave Multitasking for Life Outside the Car
While multitasking is an important life skill, it is never a good idea to attempt it while driving. Wait until you get to your destination instead. Also, take a minute or two to settle in before you take to the road so you will not be tempted to later balance driving and adjusting your rearview mirror, picking a playlist, or tweaking the air conditioning.
- When Fatigue Hits, Pull Over
Fatigue is a serious driver distraction. In the worst-case, fatigue may cause you to fall asleep in the driver’s seat. If you start to feel tired, pull over to rest safely. Remember, rest stops are not only for truckers.
- If You’re Driving with a Baby, Have a Co-Pilot
Driving with a baby on board can be nerve-racking for even the most experienced drivers. Babies cry, fuss, and throw toys, which may overwhelm the driver. Having a co-pilot old enough to help with the baby can help you focus on the task of driving, as well as provide you with some peace of mind knowing you’ll have help to attend to your baby.
- Speak Up and Help Out
The danger level of distracted driving is often equated to that of drunk driving. So, if you would not let your friend who had a couple drinks too many drive, you do not have to feel bad about discouraging driving while distracted. Don’t be afraid to kindly speak up and offer to help take care of the distraction for the driver, whether that means helping with the GPS or answering an urgent text message.
Holding Distracted Drivers Accountable
Distracted driving is a problem year round. Our car accident attorneys at Grossman Roth Yaffa Cohen know this and are committed to advocating against distracted driving. As a premier plaintiff’s firm, we have recovered millions of dollars for those injured by negligence. If a distracted driver injured you in an accident, we will fight to help you recover your maximum compensation through a civil lawsuit.
Contact a seasoned lawyer online today. We accept cases in Miami, Boca Raton, and throughout South Florida.