Distracted driving: Protecting yourself on the road

On Behalf of The Kaiser Law Group

One of the most common causes of a motor vehicle accident is simply being distracted while driving. From eating while driving, operating a cell phone or focusing on a navigation system, there are many reasons why drivers can become distracted on the road. Accidents from distracted driving are on the rise in recent years, and both drivers and pedestrians should take additional caution when traveling to avoid unsafe drivers.

What are the primary causes of distracted driving?

One of the most common causes of distracted driving is cell phone use. This can include making and receiving phone calls, but also more involved activities such as posting on, checking social media, or taking pictures while on the road. This has become a growing issue as more people feel comfortable using their devices on the road, despite the risks.

Another significant cause of distracted driving accidents is drowsiness. Many people, especially those who drive for a living, can experience drowsiness when driving. This is even more likely when they have been driving for an extended period of time. Commercial drivers and truck drivers can be some of those who experience this frequently.

Stress can be additional stress, as emotional or work-related stress can cause people to not focus on their immediate surroundings. It can also lead to other distracting activities, such as talking on a cell phone or checking a work email account.

Distracted driving is a growing problem

Since 2018, fatalities due to distracted driving have risen by 21%. According to the latest data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distractions resulted in 3,522 deaths in 2021. As more people are returning to the roads following the decline in driving in 2020, accidents are becoming more common and more deadly.

What are some steps that can be done to help with this?

The best way to reduce distractions for yourself while driving is to take common sense precautions against using your mobile device and not drive when you feel tired, or you are preoccupied with stress. Some tools that can help with this are apps that can pause notifications on your phone while you drive, or you can simply turn your phone to airplane mode.

For other drivers, especially younger drivers, you can talk to them and try to impress upon them the importance of why they should refrain from these activities while they are driving. Younger drivers are more likely to be using their phones while driving, so speaking with them can go a long way towards helping to keep them safe.

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