Nix These 3 Car Accident-Causing Driving Distractions
According to a U.S government study, over 431,000 people were injured and over 3,000 people were killed in car accidents that involved distracted driving in 2014 alone. If you are found at fault in an accident due to being distracted, you could find yourself in legal hot water. Let’s take a closer look at 3 major distractions you should absolutely avoid to decrease your risk of getting into an accident.
Texting while driving is one of most dangerous types of distractions. This is because checking, reading and answering text messages all require three types of attention: visual, manual and cognitive. When you have to focus all three types of attention on your mobile device, you are no longer able to keep your focus on driving, the road, and potential road hazards. According to a driver distraction study conducted in 2009, your eyes will be off the road for at least 5 seconds when you read a text. If you are driving at 55 miles per hour, you are driving the length of a football field–all without watching the road!
If you absolutely can’t wait to read or send a text until you get to your destination, wait until you can come to a complete stop in a parking lot or other safe area—not a stop light—and then pick up your phone.
Connecting to the Internet
It’s not just texting that is causing major driving distraction to modern drivers anymore. The rise of smartphones has led to an increasing amount of car accidents caused by people accessing the internet from their phone. Connecting to websites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Vine, and Snapchat while driving is just as distracting and dangerous as reading and sending text messages, because they require all three types of your attention and can keep your eyes off the road for significant periods of time. In 2016 alone, there have been several high profile cases of drivers who have caused accidents while using these internet websites and apps during driving; apps which encourage people to record themselves while driving, such as Snapchat, Instagram and Vine, are especially dangerous.
Do not use your mobile phone to connect to websites or apps while you are driving. Always wait until you are at a complete stop in a parking lot or other safe area—again, not at stop lights—before making the connection.
Adjusting Music Players
Most people think nothing of fiddling with their iPod or shuffling through a stash of CDs or keeping a finger on the radio while tuning through each station for something they like. But like texting, these types of actions can require too much of your attention—especially if you are visually looking at your music player or CD collection.
Instead of shuffling through music during your drive, pick a CD, playlist or favorite radio station and stick with it until you arrive at your destination.