You are on route 83 traveling at 65 mph and decide to take your attention off the road to look at an incoming message on your phone. It is about four seconds until your eyes return to the road. Did you know in those four seconds you traveled the length of a football field – without looking at the road?
Data from the National Safety Council shows 42,795 people were killed in auto accidents in 2020, which is up eight percent from the previous year. A major cause of auto accidents is distracted driving. Driving when your attention is anywhere except the road is risky and dangerous – and can change lives in an instant.
Our auto accident attorneys at Dale E. Anstine are offering up five critical tips to minimize distractions when you are behind the wheel.
Out of Sight, Out of Mind
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, at any given moment, approximately 800,000 drivers are using cell phones while driving in the United States. When distractions are within arm’s reach, it is tempting to take a quick peek to stay connected. But remember, it can only take a second to cause an auto accident due to inattention.
The auto accident lawyers at Dale E. Anstine encourage you to put your mobile device, work files and other sources of distraction in the back seat or the trunk. That way, it is more difficult to take your attention away from the road.
When riding in a vehicle as a passenger, speak up if the driver becomes distracted. Offer to send a text, adjust the volume on the radio, or input a new destination into the navigation system so the driver can remain focused on the road ahead of them.
Pull Over & Pause
Remember that 65 mph statistic from earlier? Turning your eyes away from the road while driving 65 mph to adjust the volume or make a change in the navigation system means you may have blindly traveled the length of a football field.
If you simply must take that call or make changes to your navigation system, use a designated pull-over spot, find the closest parking lot, or use voice command if your car offers it. As drivers zipping around from destination to destination, we sometimes forget that stopping is an option. If the call is not important enough to stop, it can wait.
Speak to Young Drivers About Responsible Driving
At Dale E. Anstine, the auto accident law firm serving the communities of Gettysburg, Hanover, and York, PA, we encourage families to speak with teen drivers about the importance of safe, distraction-free driving. Urge them to avoid texting or interacting with other devices while driving and be sure to model responsible driving whenever they are in the car with you as passengers.
Do Not Forget Your Seatbelt
Seatbelts are the best protection against unsafe driving. Although you are responsible for your own actions behind the wheel, you cannot be responsible for everyone else on the road. Remember to always buckle up.
Auto accidents caused by distracted driving are preventable. In honor of Distracted Driving Awareness Month, help reduce the number of accidents and related injuries by immediately committing to attentive driving and spreading the word to others to do the same.
If you or a loved one were injured in a distracted driving auto accident, get an experienced auto accident lawyer on your side to protect your rights. Reach out to Dale E. Anstine today to learn more. With offices in York and Gettysburg, our team is proud to protect the injured across the Central Pennsylvania community. Consultations are always FREE, we are available 24/7, and there is no fee unless we win for you.