Watch Out for These Driving Distractions
Every year, over 3,000 road fatalities are attributed to distracted driving. Although this is commonly thought to be solely texting while driving or other cell phone use, several actions behind the wheel could become distracting—even if not immediately recognized as such.
When driving a motor vehicle, it is imperative to keep eyes and attention on the road and both hands on the wheel at all times. Here are three ways in which a driver can become distracted and not even realize it.
Eating and Drinking
Many drivers are largely unaware that eating and drinking can provide a significant distraction. Even if the driver is not taking their eyes off the road, holding and consuming food or drinks takes a hand away from the steering wheel. This is particularly dangerous when driving on highways or in other high-speed situations.
Likewise, what is being consumed can provide an extra hazard. For example, if the driver is holding a cup of hot coffee and has to slam on the brakes or take a sharp curve, spilling it onto their lap is highly likely. Not only can the shock of spilling something divert attention or cause them to jerk the steering wheel, but there could be a possibility of burn injuries that require further medical attention.
While there may be a medical necessity to consume food or drink while driving, it is always safest to pull over into a parking lot or other rest area to do so. And although fast food places have made eating in your vehicle commonplace, consider waiting until you get home or sitting in the parking lot to avoid potential hazards while driving.
Interacting with Passengers
A driver’s focus should always be on the road ahead, but often, people in the vehicle will want to engage the driver in conversation. This could be particularly true if there are young children in the car who are bored or restless. Although it may seem like a minor thing, having a discussion with someone else in the vehicle takes away from the driver’s concentration.
In some cases, passengers may even try to hand things to the driver while they are driving. This could be anything from a toy that a child is playing with to a cell phone that someone wants to show them. Reaching for something or taking something from another person greatly increases the chances of an accident happening.
It is best to wait until the vehicle is stopped to have any overt interaction with those in the car. If there is an emergency, pull over to the side of the road before attending to it. Taking a few extra minutes could prevent a serious accident from happening.
Although it may not seem like an obvious distraction, daydreaming is one of the most common ways that drivers can cause accidents when becoming unfocused behind the wheel. One study even found that over 60% of drivers daydream or get lost in thought, making it the number one cause of distracted driving-related collisions.
Along with this, it’s not uncommon for daydreaming to coincide with drowsy driving, which can also be a significant hazard. Because of this, drivers should stay aware of their surroundings at all times and focus on driving. If they find themselves starting to space out, it is best to pull over and take a break before getting back on the road.
Car Accident Attorneys in Savannah and Augusta
Staying focused and attentive to the road is one of the most effective ways to reduce the possibility of a crash, but drivers may not even be aware that their actions are hazardous. The team at Jamie Casino Injury Attorneys encourages everyone to be mindful of how their actions affect others on the road.
If you or a loved one has been injured on Georgia roads, we can help. Schedule a free consultation today by calling (912) 809-5335.