Distracted driving has become something of an epidemic in the United States. The U.S. government website for distracted driving, Distraction.gov, reports a 6.7 percent increase in distracted driving fatalities between 2012 and 2013.
With nearly two-thirds of all Americans owning a smartphone, according to Pew Research, there are more distractions than ever behind the wheel.
Although smartphones and cell phones are often identified as the primary culprits behind distracted motorists, there are many other activities that can cause a driver to lose sight of what’s important on the road.
States across the nation, including Florida, have banned texting behind the wheel – and for good reason. Numerous studies reveal that texting is among the most dangerous things a motorist can do behind the wheel. Drivers who text are 23 times more likely to be involved in a motor vehicle collision than non-distracted motorists.
Although Florida currently bans all drivers from texting, lawmakers would like to expand the law to prohibit all cell phone and smartphone use behind the wheel.
2. Interacting with Passengers
Whether you carpool with coworkers or you’re a busy mom running kids to sports practices and doctor’s appointments, you know that interacting with passengers can pull your attention away from the road.
3. Adjusting Vehicle Controls
Today’s vehicles are more modern than ever, with innovative technology designed to make life easier and drives more enjoyable. Unfortunately, high-tech can often mean unsafe.
Complicated dashboard control panels, GPS navigation systems, and even audio features can cause major distractions. As a result, many automakers have begun developing technology that warns drivers of lane drift and imminent collisions.
Most people lead busy lives, which means meal time takes place on four wheels. If you eat in the car, however, you risk being involved in a serious accident. A study performed in England showed crashes doubled when motorists ate or drank behind the wheel.
To reduce your risk of a collision, wait until you reach your destination before eating. If you must eat behind the wheel, avoid foods that are messy, complicated, or hot, as these are much more likely to cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
5. Dialing a Phone Number
It is probably no surprise that punching in a phone number on your cell phone or smartphone is one of the most dangerous things you can do behind the wheel. Although many phones now offer hands-free technology, research has shown it is not any safer than manual use.
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety compared manual technology with hands-free features and found that drivers were just as likely to be distracted with hands-free options.
Staying Safe Behind the Wheel
Nearly everyone drives. Keep your daily commute safer by avoiding distractions. Let’s all do our part to keep the roads as accident-free as possible by practicing safe driving habits.
According to Florida laws texting is totally banned while driving or behind the wheel. If you have injured during driving then contact an experienced car accident lawyer.
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