In 2019 alone, more than 3,000 United States residents were injured in traffic collisions involving distracted driving, per data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In an ongoing effort to combat this issue, April continues to be observed as Distracted Driving Awareness Month nationwide.
Our Washington, D.C. attorneys at Simeone & Miller, LLP are conscious of the importance of this month, as we have advocated for individuals injured by distracted drivers for years. To do our part in supporting the cause, we have compiled a list of 5 tips to help you eliminate distractions behind the wheel.
5 Distracted Driving Prevention Tips
Refrain from Using Your Phone
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), cell phone use is one of the top driver distractions in the country. What’s more, your attention is pulled away from the road even if you use a hands-free device to text and call. Thus, it is best to put your phone on silent and stow it away in your bag, glove box, or center console so you won’t be tempted to check or use it while driving.
Avoid Fatigued Driving
Most people may not even consider fatigue as a type of driver distraction, but anything that prevents your full attention from being on the road is, per definition, a form of driver distraction. Driving while fatigued carries the very real risk of zoning out or, worse, falling asleep behind the wheel. Needless to say, resulting accidents can be fatal. Try to avoid driving late at night or for many hours at a time.
Make an Effort to Plan Ahead
As with most things in life, planning your trip ahead of time can be greatly beneficial. If you take time to review your route before you get on the road, you can avoid having to look down at your phone or dash for directions. This is particularly important to do if you are driving somewhere new.
Take a Moment to Get Situated
Before you leave, take time to adjust your heating and AC settings, choose a radio station (or a playlist if you prefer), and make sure that all drinks, bags, or other loose items are secured. This will help prevent these things from becoming distractions later on.
Taking a moment to get situated may also mean taking a breath or two to temporarily clear your mind of stress or any personal problems that may be weighing on you. When your mind is preoccupied, you will likely be more focused on your worries than the road.
Remember, Pulling Over Is Always an Option
If you do find yourself distracted by anything, safely pull over. For instance, if you cannot wait until you get to your destination to eat, groom, take a call, or answer a text, pulling over and arriving a few minutes late is better than risking your safety and the safety of others. Remember, looking away from the road for even 5 seconds while going 55 miles per hour is, per the NHTSA, the same as driving down a football field with your eyes closed.
Simeone & Miller, LLP Advocates for Safer Streets
The attorney team at Simeone & Miller, LLP has helped over a thousand victims of car, truck, and other accidents in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. recover full compensation for their injuries, with many cases resolved via multi-million-dollar verdicts and settlements. We work on a contingency fee basis, so you won’t have to pay us any fees unless we win your case. No firm can guarantee favorable results, but we have the experience, resources, and passion for justice to give your case the upper hand. Start with a free consultation. Contact a member of our legal team online today.