As drivers, we’re constantly juggling various tasks while behind the wheel. It can be tough to focus on anything else, from keeping our eyes on the road to using our hands to steer. Unfortunately, that can lead to some dangerous distracted driving behaviors.
Here are seven ways you might be distracted while driving.
Talking On The Phone
We’ve all been there. You’re driving along, and you get a phone call. You answer and start chatting away, not paying attention to the road. Or maybe you’re using Bluetooth, so you think you’re being safe.
But according to a new study from researchers at the University of Calgary, talking on your phone while driving can be more dangerous than we think. According to an analysis of nearly 100 studies about driving and cell phone usage, talking on a cell phone makes you a worse driver. They discovered that talking on the phone can lead to accidents, injuries, and even deaths due to the distractions it produces. So next time you’re driving, and you get a call, either let it go to voicemail or pull over to answer it. Your safety – and the safety of others – depends on it.
Texting While Driving
We’ve all seen it before: someone driving along, eyes glued to their phone, utterly oblivious to the world around them. And while we may have shaken our heads in disapproval, we’ve probably also done it ourselves at one point or another – but the truth is, texting while driving is hazardous.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 27% of all serious car accident injuries directly consequence actions like texting and driving or adjusting navigation. That’s a considerable number, and it’s only increasing as our reliance on technology grows.
So next time you’re tempted to send a quick text while behind the wheel, remember that it could have dire consequences.
Looking At Maps On Your Dashboard Display
The study, conducted by the University of Utah, looked at drivers who were asked to program a GPS unit while driving. The researchers found that the drivers were significantly more distracted when programming the GPS than following the directions.
In fact, the level of distraction was so high that it was comparable to texting while driving. So next time you’re getting ready to hit the road, be sure to program your GPS before you start driving. And if you need to change the destination or input new directions, pull over to a safe location first.
A study conducted by ExxonMobil showed that over 70% of drivers admit to eating while driving, and over 83% admit to drinking beverages while driving. While these activities may seem innocuous, they can be quite dangerous.
The RCMP says that any activity that takes your attention away from the road is considered a distraction. This includes eating, drinking, talking on the phone, and texting. To stay safe while driving, it is crucial to avoid any distractions. If you need to eat or drink, pull over to a secure location and do so.
Tending To A Pet
While it may seem harmless, the truth is that tending to a pet while driving can be a distraction. Police have said that having a pet in the front seat falls under the careless driving law. This is because it can crowd the front seat and take your attention away from the road. Going on a trip with Fido can turn fatal if it’s not restrained.
According to AAA’s state relations manager, Richard Romer, “A 10-pound dog can turn into 300 pounds of force at 30 miles an hour”. So, if you must take your pet with you in the car, make sure they are in the backseat and adequately secured.
Drinking Hot Coffee
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that coffee is the single most dangerous beverage and food item a person can consume while driving.
The concern of spilling hot liquid takes away attention from the road. Plus, holding a cup of coffee with one hand means that only one hand is on the wheel. This can be especially dangerous when driving on the highway. If you must drink coffee while driving, it’s best to use a travel mug with a lid to minimize the risk of spilling. Alternatively, you could wait until you reach your destination to drink your coffee.
Recording A Video
A 2017 study showed that making videos while driving involves three types of distractions: manual (taking the hands off the wheel), visual (taking the eyes off the road), and cognitive (thinking about something other than driving).
All of these distractions can increase your risk of being in an accident. Suppose you must record a video while driving; make sure to keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road at all times. And if possible, ask someone else to do the filming so that you can focus on driving safely.
Got Injured By A Distracted Driver?
If a distracted driver has injured you, please don’t hesitate to contact Harris Law. We have the experience and resources necessary to help you through this difficult time. We understand that no amount of money can make up for your injuries, but we will do everything in our power to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
Contact us today for a free consultation, and let us start fighting for you.