It’s no surprise that many of the motor accidents caused today are the direct result of distracted driving. Whether it’s texting on your cell phone, eating fast food, or even having a conversation with another passenger, not fully focusing on the road can often result in an accident that may have otherwise been prevented. If you do happen to be in an accident, we suggest you call an auto accident lawyer in New Jersey as soon as you can.
According to recent statistics, distracted driving is responsible for over 25% of all motor vehicle accidents. Yes, a quarter of all accidents are caused by something that can be prevented.
In addition, because it is difficult to prove whether a driver was truly distracted before an accident, many driving safety experts believe the percentage is even higher.
According to a report by the U.S. Department of Transportation released in 2018, 9% of fatal car crashes in 2016 were reported as distraction-affected crashes. Distracted driving doesn’t just increase your chance of having an accident; it also increases the chance of the accident being fatal as well.
In this brief guide, we’ll be exploring the epidemic of distracting driving and why cell phone use is not the only thing that can distract a driver.
It’s clear that distracted driving can have dire consequences, and knowing how to avoid common distractions while driving can help keep you and those around you safe.
If you recently happened to be in an accident, it’s important you call a Jersey City car crash attorney as quickly as possible. We’ll help you navigate your specific situation and be by your side every step of the way. Give us a call now at 201-854-2200
The Most Common Cause of Distracted Driving
The chances are if you were to asked what the most common form of distracting driving was, you would likely respond with “cell phone use.” While cell phones are a common cause of many distracted driving-related accidents, they aren’t the most common cause.
Radio use is the main culprit in car crashes involving distracted drivers.
The average person spends roughly 30 minutes each day commuting to and from work and many turn to the radio for entertainment. You may not think finding your favorite station or turning up the volume can’t be that big of a deal, but even taking your eye off the road for less than a second can significantly impact how quickly you hit the brakes in an emergency.
There are a few reasons why the car radio is so distracting. For one, you momentarily have to take your hand off the wheel and guide it toward the buttons to turn up the volume or find a new channel.
However, adjusting the radio physically with your hands isn’t the only way in which it can cause a distraction. Listening to your favorite song or talk show host can also decrease your awareness and cause you to be less attentive while driving. For example, if you enjoy listening to the news while you drive to work, a specific news story may cause you to experience a variety of emotions that may also impact your driving.
Driving while angry, sad, or excited can cause you to lose focus of the road and ultimately lead to an accident. Additionally, many drivers who use the radio enjoy listening to their music or show on very high volume, which can make it nearly impossible to hear noises from the environment around you.
For example, if your tire is low on air, it will typically cause a loud thudding sound while driving. While many times you’ll be able to tell from a warning light or vibration in your car, there are situations when the only way to know that your tire is low is from the sound.
If your radio is too loud, you may not hear the sound until the tire fully pops which can result in a serious accident. Listening to the radio at a high volume can also make it difficult to hear other vital sounds such as a police siren or train horn.
Ultimately, your radio can distract you visually, mentally, and physically.
Were you recently in an accident while listening to the radio? Contact us to speak with a trust Jersey City car accident attorney. Please send an email or call our office at 201-854-2200.
Other Types of Distracted Driving
As we previously shared, there are multiple ways in which a person can become distracted while driving. Though the use of a cell phone and car radio are most commonly known, here is a comprehensive list of potential distractions.
- Texting while driving
- Sending emails through your phone or tablet while driving
- Putting on makeup
- Brushing your teeth or hair
- Eating while driving
- Looking at maps on your phone or a physical map
- Watching videos on your phone, tablet, or in-car video device
- Talking to other passengers
- Tiredness or uncontrollable emotions
- Looking at an item or object outside of the car while driving
Anything that takes your focus away from the road while driving should be considered a distraction and avoided at all costs. While many drivers feel they are experienced enough to tolerate these distractions, the truth is, one second of distraction can cause a serious incident.
Though it can be difficult to drive completely undistracted, the less distracted you are, the more likely you’ll be able to avoid a preventable accident.
Don’t fall into the trap of believing an accident can never happen to you! Here are a few tips and suggestions to avoid distracting driving.
Tips to Avoid Distracting Driving
Use Technology in Emergencies Only
One easy way to quickly reduce distraction is by using your cell phone for emergencies only. For example, if you see someone who is driving recklessly on the road and endangering others, you could consider using your phone to call in the license plate. A text message or phone call is not as important as the safety of you and others on the road.
If you truly must take a phone call, then consider using hand-free technology.
Don’t Eat or Drink While Driving
Another common form of distraction that many drivers are guilty of is eating and drinking while driving. It may take just a second to look down and pick up your can of soda, but one second is all it takes for an accident to occur. If you do have to eat or drink while driving on a long road trip, then take 15 minutes to pull over and safely enjoy your meal.
Stop Driving If You’re Sleepy, Angry, or Upset
Your emotions play a significant role in how well you can focus on the road when behind the wheel of a vehicle. If you find yourself particularly, sleepy, angry, or upset, then seriously consider pulling off at the next exit and taking a few moments to regain your composure. Driving while drowsy is one of the most
dangerous things you can and is considered to be like driving drunk. Do not under any circumstances continue driving if you have trouble staying awake.
Set Safety Rules for Your Passengers
If you’re driving with quite a few passengers in your car, it’s important that your passengers avoid talking loudly or performing any other distracting behaviors. Set up some ground rules like no roughhousing, heated conversations, or anything else that might take your focus off the road.
Safe Your Grooming for Home
One of the best ways to avoid distracting driving is by committing to working on your appearance at home. It’s certainly understandable to want to look professional for work or a date; however, brushing your teeth, doing your makeup, or working on your appearance in any way while driving can have lethal consequences.
Know It Can Happen to You
Lastly, when it comes to distracted driving, don’t believe it can’t happen to you! By taking necessary precautions and becoming aware of potential distractions you can work to avoid accidents that are ultimately avoidable.
It’s not always possible to avoid an accident, but doing your best to limit distractions will increase your chances of reaching your destination safely.
What to Do If You Were in An Accident While Distracted
Despite your best efforts, you might find yourself in an accident after driving while distracted. Though all accidents are serious in nature, driving while distracted can present some unique legal challenges that should be taken seriously. The severity of the accident will play a significant role in any potential legal or financial repercussions.
We understand how scary and nerve-wracking an accident can be and we’ve worked with thousands of clients to help them get back to their normal life as quickly as possible.
Give us a call now at 201-854-2200 and a member of our team of Jersey City car accident attorneys will help alleviate some of the stress and uncertainty caused by your accident.