Recently, a 27-year-old mother of two died when she failed to stop or slow down for backed up traffic, and she rear-ended a stopped tracker trailer. This crash acts as a reminder of the importance of not driving while distracted. According to data on the Distraction.gov website, drivers in their 20’s account for 27 percent of distracted drivers involved in fatal accidents. During daylight hours, at any given moment, roughly 660,000 drivers in the United States are using cell phones or other electronic devices while driving. No matter your age, eliminating all distractions while driving can be nearly impossible. Fortunately, there are things you can do to at least reduce distractions while driving.
- Put your cell phone away. When checking a text message, your eyes are off the road for an average of five seconds. At 55 mph, that is long enough to travel the length of a football field. Even talking on your cell phone can a large distraction, even if you are talking hands-free. If you have a passenger, have the passenger respond to text messages or answer your phone if the call is important. If you must answer a phone call or a text message yourself, pull off the road.
- Adjust things before starting your vehicle. This includes mirrors, your seat, and anything else which may cause a distraction while you are driving. If you are using a GPS device, make sure it is programmed before you start and that it will give you verbal directions. When possible, have a good idea of where you are headed before you start your vehicle. Then you will not need to rely upon GPS directions.
- Avoid multi-tasking while driving. This includes eating, drinking, putting on make-up, brushing your hair, reading, and a variety of other activities which may take your mind off driving.
Sadly, distracted driving often affects more than just the driver. Sometimes pedestrians, people in other vehicles, and passengers are injured or killed by a distracted driver. If you were injured by a distracted driver’s inattentiveness, contact us. One of our Chattanooga car accident attorneys will discuss your individual case with you.