Five Steps to Fight Distracted Driving
Even though the vast majority of U.S. states ban text messaging while driving to address distracted driving risks, an Ad Council study reports a whopping 82 percent of young drivers, between 16 and 24 years old, have engaged in this dangerous activity. And it’s not only the younger demographic who are distracted behind the wheel: approximately 20 percent of all accidents involving injury in 2009 were reportedly caused by distraction. However, like all reckless behavior, distracted driving can be prevented with a combination of awareness and good choices. Below are five tips, picked from recommendations by the Governor’s Highway Safety Association (GHSA).
- Never use your phone or any other hand held device while driving. Not only is it illegal, but research by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) shows drivers who use hand held devices are four times as likely to get into accidents severe enough to cause injury. The University of Utah also determined that using a cell phone (regardless of whether it’s hands free or not) compromises a driver’s response time to the same extent as being legally drunk with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent. So switch off your ringer.
- When making or taking a call is a complete necessity, get off the road. Pull over to a safe area and don’t resume driving until the phone is hung up, turned off, and placed in a compartment out of reach to avoid temptation.
- Get your directions straight before you depart. Fiddling with a map or GPS system while driving is unsafe; it takes your eyes and concentration away from the road.
- Don’t engage in distracting interactions with passengers. Family, friends, and pets can all be distractions. Deal with situations that require attention or emotion when off the road or parked.
- Save the food and drinks for the passenger seats. Eating and drinking is included in many states’ updated distracted driving laws.
If you’ve been injured in a Seattle vehicle accident that you believe was caused by distracted driving, contact the Washington distracted driving accident lawyers with Hardwick & Pendergast P.S. at 1 (888) 228-3860 for a free case review.