It seems as though we are constantly surrounded by devices that demand our attention. Even behind the wheel, we face numerous distractions that could put us, our passengers, and others on the road at risk. While we are most likely to associate the term “distracted driving” with cell phone use, there are several other distracted driving behaviors that jeopardize our ability to follow safe driving practices. Let’s take a look at three common distracted driving habits among drivers in Washington state so that we can be more mindful of our behavior and work harder to avoid auto accidents in the future.
1. Texting and Cell Phones
Phone use is by far the most common distracted driving habit nationwide. By now, we all know that texting while driving is not a safe practice, but we often reassure ourselves that reading a quick text will take less than a second and won’t put us in serious danger. However, studies have shown that looking at your phone for just five seconds while traveling at 55 miles per hour is essentially the same as traveling the length of a football field while blindfolded. Now’s the time to make some changes to keep yourself and others safer on the road. Put your phone in the trunk or assign a passenger to be your designated texter while you drive. As more drivers concentrate on the road than on their phones, fewer car accidents would occur.
2. Adjusting Radios or Interacting with In-Vehicle Technology
Even if your cell phone is safely out of reach, there are plenty of distractions in front of you at all times. Taking your eyes off the road to adjust the volume on your car radio, fiddling with the navigation system, or trying to use the vehicle’s hands-free system to make a phone call can demand your attention and jeopardize your safety. As much as possible, try to refrain from interacting with these features while the car is in motion. Load up the podcast you want to hear or place the call to your friend before you even leave your driveway.
3. Driving When You are Tired or Drowsy
There are times when we may climb behind the wheel when we are too tired to drive safely. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), most drowsy driving crashes occur between midnight and 6 in the morning, or later in the afternoon. These accidents usually involve one driver with no passengers who runs off the road at a high speed. The resulting injuries and property damage can be significant. While we are well-aware of the dangers of drunk driving, driving while drowsy also puts our health and our lives at risk. If you’re feeling tired, assess your options for finding a safer alternative.
If you have been injured in an auto accident in the Vancouver or Camas area and you need help collecting compensation, reach out to the experienced personal injury attorneys at Henderson Taylor Law Firm by calling (360) 737-1478 today.