You see that person everyday when you are driving, the person who is eating their lunch while they drive, applying their makeup on their morning commute, or staring at their phone screen as they drive down the highway. Distracted driving is a dangerous choice many people make everyday.
Studies have shown that distracted driving, which includes but is not limited to texting and driving, is just as dangerous as drunk driving. This particular study was done in 2006, back when most cell phones were flip phones. Nowadays, with the advent of smartphones, social media, and mobile applications, there are thousands of more ways to be distracted by your cell phone while driving.
Stay Safe While Driving
According to the CDC, 9 people are killed and more than 1,000 are injured every day due to distracted driving. Sending one text message usually means your eyes are off the road for approximately 5 seconds. If you are driving at 55 miles per hour for 5 seconds, you would have traveled the length of an entire football field, 100 yards. Imagine just trying to send a simple text that reads, “on my way”. As you’re taking the few seconds to craft that text you could run a stop sign or rear-end someone due to your eyes being off the road for those few seconds.
Of course, texting is not the only form of distraction that can be dangerous while driving. Doing something as simple as looking down to grab a drink from the cup holder, changing the radio station, or looking out the window at the scenery as it rolls by can take your eyes off the road. Which could result in you having to deal with a personal injury lawsuit due to hitting someone while you drive.
How Do We Avoid Distracted Driving?
Luckily, despite the constant distractions available to us, there are many ways to avoid them, stay focused on the road, and get where you’re going safely. Let’s start with features on cell phones that help reduce distraction. Many phones these days have a “car mode” that hide notifications while you’re in the car. That way, there’s no temptation to read or answer your texts, Snapchats, etc. while you’re driving.
Nowadays, most cars come enhanced with safety features related to distracted driving such as hands-free systems like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Through these hands-free systems phones are able to be connected to the car via Bluetooth. Then driver can then press buttons directly on their steering wheel to operate their phones. This helps drivers to stay more focused on their driving because their eyes stay on the road instead of looking down at their phone. The driver can place calls and even send text messages through virtual assistants such as Siri, as well as asking Siri to read their text messages out loud. These Bluetooth systems can also prohibit certain functions unless the vehicle is in “park.” For example, if you press the Bluetooth button and ask Siri to search the web for something, she’ll reply “Sorry, I can’t show you the result while you’re in the car.” Hands-free systems are a huge step in the right direction to combat distracted driving.
Make sure you know the laws in your state and cities regarding cell phone usage while driving. If you absolutely have to check your email or texts while driving, either have a passenger look for you or safely pull off to the side of the road to do so. Remember: a text message is never worth your life or the life of someone else.
Have You Been Injured In a Car Accident?
The experienced personal injury attorneys at Steuer, Escovar & Coleman Co. LPA are here to help you. Contact us on our website, or call us at (216)-666-5138 for a free consultation at our Cleveland, Ohio office today!