The Dangers of Distracted Driving

Photo by streetsblog.org

Driving while you are distracted is extremely dangerous. Trying to get to your destination safely can be difficult even when you are paying attention solely to the road. You never know when another driver may change lanes without looking and poor road conditions can make driving harder than it normally is. Rubbernecking while passing an accident is an action that can cause others to become distracted themselves. Today, there are even more activities that can distract you while driving; talking on a cell phone, eating, texting, adjusting the radio, other passengers, loud music, bright sunlight, and driver fatigue.  

Distracted and drowsy driving is nearly as dangerous as drunk driving. Distracted and drowsy driving combine for 25% of accidents, while drunk driving is responsible for 32%.
 
How To Eliminate Distractions 
Using modern technology can help you get rid of some distractions while driving. Having a GPS device enables you to get directions without having to fumble around with a map. Bluetooth systems allow you to use your phone without using your hands. Some newer cars even read incoming text messages to you which can eliminate the dangers of texting while driving.  
 
Pull off the road if you need to eat while traveling. Sit down at the restaurant if you want to eat a meal or eat your meal in the parking lot if you want to use a drive-thru to pick up your food. Rest stops are scattered along most highways if you are taking a long trip.  

If you are tired and sleepy, do not drive a car. If you are traveling a long distance consider getting a hotel room or taking a short break at a rest stop to catch some rest before driving again. If you must drive early in the morning, make sure that you get at least six hours of sleep before your trip. Those who are driving for long periods of time should stop every so often for a break.  
 
Other Causes Of Distracted Driving 
Playing with the radio, talking to other passengers, and operting while under the influence of alcohol can also impair a driver. It is important that you do not let other passengers distract you from keeping your eyes on the road.  

Never get behind the wheel if you are drunk. Drunk driving is the worst kind of driving out there. You have little to no control over your actions when you have had too much to drink. Getting pulled over for a DUI will negatively affect your life for the next several years.  
 
States Are Requiring Drivers To Pay More Attention 
Tennessee, which enacted a three-foot passing law four years ago, established a new traffic offense for motorists: failing to exercise due care when passing a bicyclist or failing to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. Now, whenever a driver hits a pedestrian or bicyclist (who are bicycling or walking legally) he/she may face penalties more severe than a simple traffic ticket including monetary penalities, revokation of his/her driver’s license, and possible jail time.

 
Whenever you are driving a car, safety is your responsibility. Make sure you are focused and alert while driving. If you don’t think you can drive safely, have someone else drive or stay home. Stay aware of pedestrians crossing the road as well as those on bikes. Being respectful for one another and maintaining proper control and use of your respective vehicle is one of the simplest ways to stay safe. Like NYC’s satirical campaign towards traffice safety bluntly says – “Don’t be a jerk.”

 

This post authored by Ashley White for www.distracteddrivinghelp.com

 

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