There were over 37,000 fatalities on California roads in 2015. Considering the past trends, this number will only continue to rise, especially as more and more distractions pull drivers’ attention away from the road. The California Office of Traffic Safety has continued to use federal grants to educate drivers on the importance of focused driving. While cell phone use still tops the list of driving distractions, there are other disruptions that can cause injury, or worse.
GPS & Mobile Maps
You may think that following your GPS unit or even Google Maps on your phone is helping you to arrive at your destination safely. Having your GPS or phone mounted to the dashboard or windshield can help you see where you should be going, but even glancing at the device for a few seconds takes your eyes off of where you ARE going. Voice commands can help reduce the distraction, but only if you are already somewhat familiar with the area in which you’re driving. Instead of relying on technology that can cause distracted driving, try studying the mobile map before you head out.
Adjusting Music or Climate Controls
With the newest vehicle technology, you might think it’s easier to change your radio station or the volume. However, when station surfing or trying to adjust volume controls, your full attention isn’t on the road in front of you. Distracted driving can also be caused by trying to adjust the A/C or heater. However, these new technologies also come with many more settings and options which can take time to adjust if you aren’t just hitting a pre-programmed station option or turning the temperature knob. Be sure to adjust all of these settings before pulling out of your driveway or parking space to prevent distracted driving.
Makeup & Distracted Driving
Applying makeup is one of the most common reasons for distracted driving among women. If you have makeup in the car, be sure it is put up so it doesn’t tempt you to get started on your mascara while on the freeway. If you find you don’t have time to apply your makeup before you leave the house, set your alarm a few minutes earlier. If headed to work, you can always spend a few minutes before your shift to apply your makeup in the employee bathroom.
Other Passengers in the Vehicle
While other passengers in the vehicle can cause distractions with excited or even angry conversations, it’s the driver’s responsibility to ensure a distraction-free driving environment. Sometimes it can be hard to keep passengers from distracting you, especially if they are young children or even pets. However, you can set rules as to what activities and conversations are allowed in the vehicle for older children or adults and you can help younger children learn the importance of letting you drive. There are specialized car baskets and seatbelts that can be used for pets traveling inside a vehicle.
While not every distraction inside the vehicle can be avoided completely, they can certainly be reduced. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s #justdrive campaign requires a pledge that you will reduce driving distractions to make our roads safer. If you’ve been a victim of distracted driving, Martin Gasparian may be able to earn you compensation for your injuries and property loss through experienced representation. Contact him directly for a free consultation at firstname.lastname@example.org.