According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) research, more than 2,800 people in the United States lose their lives each year due to distracted drivers. Another 400,000 people or so are seriously injured in such crashes. To say the least, distracted driving is a serious problem that every driver in America should think about.
That’s why the National Safety Council (NSC) has officially made Distracted Driving Awareness Month each April. During this annual safety campaign, the NSC asks that all drivers think about what they can do to help ensure they never drive while distracted. It also asks that all drivers take the “NSC Just Drive Pledge,” which is a more-formal step that drivers can take to hold themselves accountable.
Our team at Carter Mario Law Firm is all about doing whatever we can to help make our communities safer. We are observing Distracted Driving Awareness Month and we invite you to do the same! If we all take a little more time to commit ourselves to always drive with zero distractions, then the roads across the country will become significantly safer.
Five fast and easy-to-remember tips about preventing distracted driving are:
- Cut the chatter: One of the worst driver distractions that most people do not even realize is a problem is the act of talking to passengers. Chatting with friends in your car is fun but talking while the car is in motion can be downright dangerous. As the driver, you should limit the conversations that you have with your passengers, especially if you are a newer driver.
- Pocket your smartphone: With the advent of the smartphone’s global popularity, practically every driver has a communication device on them at all times. But this also means that nearly all drivers have a way to distract themselves at all times. To avoid being tempted by a text message or funny video that your friend sent you, put your smartphone in your pocket or purse when you are in the car. Do not retrieve it until you reach your destination.
- Hands-free is not distraction-free: The NSC warns that hands-free electronic devices are not the same thing as distraction-free devices. For example, talking with someone on your cellphone while you are driving is dangerous whether the phone is in your hand or on the dashboard. Not even wireless Bluetooth devices are completely safe to use because they distract you infinitely more than the act of not talking to anyone.
- Preload a playlist: Choosing a song while driving can be the direct cause of a terrible car accident. Young drivers are more inclined to tinker with their music when driving, which is a problem because they are less experienced already. To remove the risk of paying attention to the song choice instead of the road, you should preload a playlist on your smartphone using your favorite music app. While you are at home, have some fun choosing a good order of songs that make you feel relaxed and focused. Then, when you hop in the car for your daily commute, you can start the list and leave it.
- Wake up earlier: Self-grooming like brushing a beard or applying makeup is a common form of dangerous driver distraction. Eating and drinking are also really common distractions that drivers willingly engage in. What is the connection among these distractions? They all mostly happen early in the morning when people are driving to work or school. If you have ever felt tempted to eat breakfast or self-groom during your morning commute, then the solution is simple: wake up 15 minutes earlier than you are now, so you can handle those tasks safely at home.
We hope these quick tips help you during Distracted Driving Awareness Month and beyond! Let’s all do a little better, drive a little safer, and bring distracted driving accidents in your area down to zero. If you ever need our help with a distracted driving accident claim in Connecticut, though, please know that you can always submit an online contact formto get in touch with our attorneys.