By: Grace Hancock
The National Safety Council (the NSC) reports that every day, seven people are killed and more than seven hundred people are injured in distracted driving crashes. These tragic statistics highlight the importance of spreading information about the dangers of distracted driving.
You may think you already know everything about distracted driving, but you may not realize that distracted driving is more than texting and driving. According to the NSC, drivers on their phones fail to see 50% of their surroundings. This is what’s called “inattention blindness,” or, the failure to notice visible hazards because your mind is focused elsewhere. This can also be referred to as a cognitive distraction. Inattention blindness can even happen when you’re simply changing the station on the radio.
In recognition of National Distracted Driving Awareness month, the NSC has launched their Just Drive Pledge where drivers can pledge to not engage in the following cognitive distractions:
- Having a phone conversation – handheld, hands-free, or via Bluetooth while driving
- Using voice-to-text features in the vehicle’s dashboard system when driving
- Using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, YouTube, Vimeo or other social media when driving
- Checking or sending emails while driving
- Taking selfies or filming videos while driving
- Inputting destinations into GPS while the vehicle is in motion when driving
- Calling or messaging someone else when you know they are driving
Hands-Free Doesn’t Equal Distraction Free
It may come as a surprise to many to see hands-free cell phone devices on the list of what not to do when driving. There is a general misconception that it’s better to use a hands-free device when driving instead of a hand-held device, but that is not completely true.
It’s only marginally safer to use a hands-free device instead of a hand-held device when driving. Your hands may be on the wheel when you use a hands-free device, but your attention is split between watching the road ahead of you and whatever you’re using your hands-free device for.
3 Ways You Can Easily Avoid Distracted Driving
Put your phone on silent before you drive
Firstly, and this is possibly the most obvious on this list; put your phone on silent before you start driving so that you won’t be distracted by any unexpected notifications like calls or texts.
Pass a task off to a passenger when you’re driving
You may not always be able to avoid multitasking when behind the wheel; if you for example have to view directions on your phone while you’re driving if you suddenly get lost. If you find that you have to multitask when driving, reduce the amount you have to multitask as much as possible.
One way you could do this is by passing a task off to someone else. If you’re driving with a passenger, have him or her deal with tasks such as getting directions and checking for weather updates.
Drive free of mental distractions
Even if your eyes are on the road while you’re driving, if your mind is somewhere else, your reaction time will be slowed and you will be a crash risk.
Tampa Car Accident Lawyers- Hancock Injury Attorneys
If you or a loved one have recently been injured as a result of someone else’s distracted driving, you’ll want the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer so that you receive the compensation you deserve.
Our team at Hancock Injury Attorneys can help not only estimate the costs of your injury, but we can also make sure you are compensated for any lost wages, pain and suffering and future losses related to your accident.
You can contact our attorneys at Hancock Injury Attorneys or call us at (813) 915-1110 for your free case consultation today.