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The National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) reports that approximately nine people are killed each day in the United States due to distracted driving. Anything that takes a driver’s attention off the road is a distraction, including smartphones, navigation systems, applying make-up, eating, drinking, conversing with passengers, and many other actions. Most distractions are avoidable if drivers are willing to take some safety precautions.
Approximately 660,000 drivers use electronic devices while driving, according to the NHTSA; using electronics distracts the driver, which can lead to a serious car accident. It is best to only use your cellphone for emergencies. Even hands-free devices can cause you to have a delayed reaction; therefore, if you must make a call, pull over safely to the side of the road or a rest stop.
While driving, put your phone on silent, do not disturb, or airplane mode so that you are not tempted to read and respond to text messages or phone calls. Sending or reading a text takes a driver’s attention off the road for about five seconds; during that time, those traveling at 55 miles per hour could travel the length of a football field, according to the NHTSA.
Distracted driving statistics for 2020 reveal that reaching for an object increases the chances of getting in a car crash by eight times. Therefore, it is important to make sure all loose objects in the car are safely stowed away prior to getting on the road. If you must access something, pull over to a safe location, do not attempt to reach it while driving.
Enter your destination into your GPS before you start driving so that you are not adjusting it while you are on the road. Also, make any necessary adjustments to your seat, mirrors, air conditioning, windows, and radio before heading out. Keep in mind that once you have been distracted, it only takes three seconds for a crash to occur.
Be sure to eat before or after your trip, it is important to not eat or drink while you are on the road. Spilling food, reaching for drinks, and other distracted behaviors can cause drivers to get in distracted driving accidents.
Passengers can be extremely distracting to drivers; before getting on the road, inform them of the risks associated with distracted driving, and ask them to participate in making it a safe trip. Passengers should refrain from demanding the driver’s attention and avoid engaging in distracting behaviors, such as talking, pointing, or playing loud music.
Also, children should be secured before driving and only tended to once you have safely pulled over. Parents with children in the car are more likely to become involved in distracted driving accidents.
If you were involved in a distracted driving accident, contact one of our Milford car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow today. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. For more information, contact us online or call us at 302-834-8484 for a free consultation. With offices located in Bear, Milford, and Wilmington, Delaware, we advocate for injured car accident victims throughout the state, including Elsmere and Seaford.