Distracted driving has rapidly become one of the most prevalent causes of traffic accidents in California and across the country. Californians rank cell-phone use while driving as the biggest danger on the road, and over half of all California drivers report that they have been hit or nearly hit by a distracted driver. Nationally, over 3,000 people are killed each year by distracted driving, accounting for almost 10% of all traffic fatalities. Below, we offer some safety tips from various organizations, including the California Office of Traffic Safety, AAA, and car insurance companies designed to limit your distractions while driving and avoid causing a crash. Contact a dedicated Glendale car accident lawyer if you or a loved one has been injured by a distracted or otherwise negligent driver.
Limit cell-phone use to emergencies only
The biggest cause of distracted-driving accidents today is cell phone usage. Texting, emailing, and checking social media while driving are extremely common and extremely dangerous behaviors that lead to thousands of accidents each year. California law prohibits texting while driving but does permit hands-free phone usage. We recommend limiting even hands-free usage to avoid distraction.
Store loose gear and other items that could roll around your car
It is easy to become distracted by a pair of shoes or a water bottle flying around the car whenever you turn or stop. You may be tempted to pick something up off the floor in the passenger seat or behind you. Storing loose items will prevent this distraction and allow you to focus on the road.
Finish dressing and grooming before getting on the road
Do not tie your tie, style your hair, apply your makeup, or change your clothes while driving. The acts themselves are distracting, and any mistakes can keep your eyes off the road for even longer.
Avoid eating messy or cumbersome food
People get hungry while driving and may not have time to pull over. However, eating while driving can be extremely distracting, especially if you are eating something messy. A sandwich that spills onto your lap can cause you to take your eyes off the road for long enough to get into an accident. Avoid hot foods that might burn you while driving. If you have the time, pull over for five minutes to eat your meal rather than doing so while actively driving.
If you are drowsy, pull off the road
Drowsy driving and distracted driving go hand-in-hand. When you are tired, it is very easy to lose focus on the road and instead pay attention to other distractions inside and outside your car. Ensure that you get enough sleep before hitting the road, and if you start to doze off, pull over. Take a 20-minute nap to recharge if you are able.
If some other activity demands your attention, pull over
If anything is preventing you from devoting your full attention to driving, take care of it before or after the trip or pull over. You do not want to cause an accident because some matter was distracting you that easily could have been delayed for a few minutes until your arrival or could have been handled better with some extra planning ahead.
Get Help after a Serious Crash from Our Glendale Personal Injury Lawyers
If you or a loved one has been injured by a distracted driver in California, get help seeking damages from a seasoned professional by contacting the dedicated and effective Glendale personal injury attorneys McReynolds Vardanyan LLP for a free consultation at 818-855-2115.