As much as no one wants to admit it, most people, at some point in their lives, have indulged in behavior that constitutes distracted driving. Without a doubt, distracted driving is risky and places not only the driver and any occupants of the vehicle, but also other drivers on the road, at risk of harm.
In fact, Pennsylvania residents may find it interesting to learn that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that over 3,300 people were killed and a little less than 400,000 people suffered injuries in crashes that involved some kind of distraction. The loss of lives and the injuries caused by distracted driving is a sobering reminder for drivers that there are serious consequences for taking one’s eyes off the road to look at a text message, change a CD, apply make-up, eat and engage in any other kind of behavior that constitutes distracted driving.
Here are some helpful tips to avoid distracted driving and prevent serious injury and death. First and foremost, know the law in Pennsylvania and, if travelling interstate, familiarize oneself with the state and local laws in the state through which one may pass. Presently, there is no national ban on the use of cell phones while driving. In Pennsylvania, however, there is a ban on texting and driving, which covers all drivers. Next, it is important for drivers to focus on the primary task of driving and avoid multi-tasking. Turning off the phone and keeping it out of reach and sight might help. If one must make a call, then pull over, stop and make the call. If there is another occupant in the vehicle, one can enlist his or her help to make the call, talk or text. Sometimes, it may help to change the voice message to inform callers that you are driving and will call as soon as you are off the road. Finally, if using a GPS device, it is helpful to enter one’s destination ahead of time and glance over the directions so there is no need to look at it or enter information while driving. Furthermore, if travelling with pets and kids, ensure that they do not pose a distraction.
These tips to prevent distract driving may help minimize the serious injuries that accidents occurring as a result of distracted driving can cause. Although efforts to change driver behavior are laudable, any Philadelphia car accident attorney will agree that not everyone will follow these tips and accidents, unfortunately, will happen. When they do, those injured may want to have the facts of their case evaluated.
Source: Governors Highway Safety Association, “10 Tips for Managing Driver Distraction,” accessed Sept. 23, 2014