Recent surveys and studies are finding more and more statistics and information that suggests using a smartphone behind the wheel is just as dangerous, if not more, than intoxicated driving. Data gathered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that an estimated 10% of motorists behind the wheel in America, at any given time, will be using their cellphone. When you pull up to a stop light with nine other cars, odds are at least one person there is not paying full attention to traffic signals. The number could be even higher during rush hour traffic, or due to the fact that survey participants may have felt inclined to lie about how often they use their cellphones while driving.
How You Can Help Stop Distracted Driving
The prevalence and abundance of distracted drivers on the road at all hours not only means that it is everyone’s responsibility to help bring this unsafe behavior to an end, but it also means that even you have, statistically, also engaged in distracted driving from time to time. At the very least, someone you know and trust has. So what can be done to curb a behavior that is so widespread and so easy to inadvertently do?
Here’s some quick tips, hints, and bits of advice to keep in mind and tell your friends about:
- Turn off your phone and put it in your pocket if you know you are prone to glancing at the occasional message.
- If you use your phone for GPS navigation, before you start the car, first secure your phone somewhere it does not block your vision in any way. If possible, keep it out of sight, turn up the volume, and only use text-to-speech prompts from your GPS app.
- If you must check a message or make a phone call, first pull over and stop your car in a safe location, preferably a parking lot; simply pulling over to the side of the road could cause traffic delays for others, or a collision.
- When you drive with a passenger, give them the ability to unlock your phone and handle any important messages for you.
- There are several apps that disable your phone if it is traveling at faster than 15 miles per hour – give or take depending on the settings. You can activate this app on your phone, or your child’s if you know they might be tempted to text and drive.
- Teenagers are historically more likely to disregard lectures from adults, but gain interest when told stories or given real world examples. When you need to talk to your children about safe driving habits, you may want to consider ways to get the seriousness of the situation across without lecturing.
- Do what you can to avoid other forms of distraction as well; don’t eat in the car, complete any personal grooming or makeup applying before getting behind the wheel, look into upgrading your vehicle with better “crash avoidance” safety measures, etc.
If you want more information about safe driving habits and distracted driving statistics, you can find plenty of it here.
If you need legal representation after being struck by a distracted driver, Granite Law Group and our personal injury attorneys in New Hampshire and Massachusetts can hear your claim for free. You only need to contact our office and request your complimentary evaluation with our team.
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