Think of your morning commute. Does your drive involve stopping for a cup of coffee, eating breakfast on the go, making phone calls, or finding that perfect song on your iPod? Chances are, you are guilty of a few of these. With so many distractions in today’s world, it can be pretty difficult to put safe and responsible driving first and foremost. We are multi-taskers. Our drives are used to plan out our days, what errands we need to run, and what deadlines we need to meet, rather than focusing on how to safely get from point A to point B.
So how do we break this cycle? The Louisville car accident lawyers at McCoy & Hiestand believe that simplification is key to developing safe driving habits. With two hands on the steering wheel, and eyes on the road, you dramatically limit your driving hazards and can better prevent yourself and your passengers from a motor vehicle collision.
Preventing Distracted Driving
So, next time you are in your vehicle, we challenge you to keep the following tips in mind:
- Phone Calls—Only use your cell phone for emergency situations while driving. If you must make a call, take the time to safely pull off to the right shoulder to make the call. Because when you are talking on the phone, what you are saying and hearing is distracting you, even temporarily, from the road ahead of you.
- Food—If you are picking up food on-the-go, give yourself enough time to eat once your vehicle has come to a stop. Too often drivers try to master eating while driving, but it only makes driving (and eating) more complicated and less safe.
- Texting—When driving, that text can wait. No text should compromise your safe driving practices. While it may be easy to convince yourself it will only take a second to check or send that text, in that same matter of seconds a collision can happen if you choose to watch your screen over the road. If it is urgent enough, they will call. Again, if you feel the need to answer (if it is an emergency), safely pull off to the shoulder and take the call.
- Drowsiness—If you are driving tired, you are a danger not only to yourself, but your passengers and other drivers. If you happen to have a passenger, suggest that they drive instead. It is crucial that drivers stay alert at all times, so if you find yourself drowsy at the wheel, get off the road, and if it is late at night and you still have a long way to your destination, consider putting yourself up for the night for a good night of sleep.
- Define Your Distractions—No one knows you better than yourself. Take a moment to identify what distracts you the most while driving, and make a conscious effort to limit those distractions whenever possible. If you feel safer with fewer passengers in the car, drive with fewer passengers. If you find that your iPod is constantly in your hand on the road, set it to shuffle before you begin driving.
What to Remember About Distracted Driving
Remember, no one is perfect. We are all guilty of allowing distractions to negatively affect our safe driving from time to time. But, if we decide to make safe driving the ONLY priority while in the driver’s seat, we will have contributed to making our roadways safer for everyone.