Five Tips for Preventing Distracted Driving

Five Tips for Preventing Distracted Driving

Five Tips for Preventing Distracted Driving

However, it has been around as long as we have had cars. While texting and driving is one of the biggest modern day distractions, the term “distracted driving” encompasses any and all activities that take your attention away from the road. Some believe that certain distractions are harmless because they only take a moment or are entertaining, but all of them, regardless of how brief or fun, can increase your risk of being in a traffic accident.

Prevent Distracted Driving with a Little Organization

Fortunately, distracted driving is largely preventable. All drivers, regardless of age, number of passengers, or type of vehicle, can take control of their driving experience. People drive while distracted because certain distractions add enjoyment to the drive or save precious time during their morning routine. But, by being organized, you will find driving less stressful, more relaxing, and safer for everyone. It is worth the effort to try new habits and find good ones that work for you and your family and friends.

1. Organize Your Vehicle

Before driving, make sure there is nothing floating around in the car, like children’s toys, papers, or food wrappers. These items can be distracting and possibly roll under the foot pedals, which could interfere with braking and acceleration.

If it is a new vehicle, familiarize yourself with the controls and adjust the mirrors and seat before you turn the ignition. Also, do not overload the car with people or belongings. All belongings should be secure and not blocking the rear window. All passengers must have seatbelts on and have a full seat to themselves.

2. Organize Your Phone

If you need to activate the GPS, do it before you start driving. Otherwise, check email and texts before you get in the car and then leave the phone in your coat pocket or purse. Some newer phones come with notification-blocking apps that prevent these distractions from popping up while driving. If you do not see the notifications out of the corner of your eye, you will be less tempted to pick up your phone while you are on the road. If you have an older model smartphone, there are apps available to download that will block notifications.

3. Organize Your Food and Drink

It’s best not to eat or drink in the car. If possible, arrange to eat before or after your trip. If you must bring food along, make sure drinks, especially hot ones, are in covered, leak-proof cups and that they rest in the cup holders, not on the seat beside you. Avoid bringing messy snacks that can spill or smear. At the end of your car trip, be sure to remove any and all food packaging so it does not clutter up your vehicle.

4. Organize Your Passengers

Make sure your passengers know what to expect. If you like to drive in silence, let them know in advance. If you need help with the GPS or looking for a street or house number, give passengers enough warning so they can effectively help you without making you flustered. If you are traveling with children, ensure they are set up with their toys and snacks prior to driving. To the best of your ability and theirs, make sure everything they need is within their reach. If they need something from you during the trip, pull over to help. Reaching back while driving could result in you losing control of the car.

5. Organize Your Grooming

Shaving or doing makeup while driving is one of the more established forms of distracted driving. People feel they can save time by doing two things at once when, in effect, you do neither task well. Not only are you risking a car accident, you are also risking cuts and eye injuries. Take care of these activities before you leave. Focusing fully on doing one important thing at a time will be less stressful for your mornings in the long run than trying to save time so you can hit snooze on your alarm more often.

Legal Advice

If you’ve been injured in a car crash as the result of distracted driving, or any other cause, you need effective and timely advice from a trusted attorney. The team at GreeningLaw P.C. is here to share its expertise and compassion. We understand that recovering from such injuries, especially if they involve a hospital stay, can be both stressful and expensive.

At GreeningLaw P.C., we believe that your needs come first, which is why we work on contingency. We do not get paid unless you are awarded compensation. Our fees are made clear up front, so there will be no surprises. If you have additional questions are reading our “Five Tips for Preventing Distracted Driving” contact us to book a free consultation. We can answer any additional questions you may have.

“We fight the legal battle, so you have time for healing and renewal.”

End Distracted Driving with the Focus App

End Distracted Driving with the Focus App

Since 2010, roughly 660,000 individuals are estimated to be using cell phones while driving every minute, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. That is a number that has more or less remained unchanged. Teenagers and young adults, especially, have been involved in a higher percentage of accidents which were caused by distracted driving due to using cell phones. A survey conducted by the USDOT found that in 27 percent of distracted driving incidents involving cell phones, the drivers were between the ages of 20 and 30.

Taking your eyes of the road to look at a cell phone for even five seconds can prove fatal. During that time, at an average speed of 55mph, your vehicle will travel approximately 50 yards. That is more than enough distance to either cause an accident or fail to perceive a hazard in time to react.

Almost everyone carries a cell phone with them everywhere they go. Even drivers who are normally attentive can become easily distracted by incoming calls or messages. The temptation to take a quick glance at an incoming message can often prove too much.

Focus — Screen-Free Driving

There now exists a rather innovative means of avoiding the distraction of your cell phone. You may be surprised to learn that the means for avoiding the distraction of your phone actually resides on your phone. It is an app.

The Focus – Screen-Free Driving app works with your iPhone, Android or Windows smart phone and is designed to train drivers to stay focused on the driving and not on their cell phone. It sounds almost contradictory to use a phone app to keep you from using your phone; however, although the app is installed on your smart phone, it is quite effective in keeping the owner from using it.

How the Focus App Works

The app is the brainchild of developer, Kevin Holesh. The app works by, effectively, berating the driver every time they pick up the phone. If the driver continues to pick up the phone while driving, Focus increases its intensity. Focus uses voice-over to deliver messages to the driver, warning that they are being distracted while driving. Perhaps most sobering, Focus sends an automated email which includes details of cell phone use while driving, which includes, how long the phone was used, and the speed of the vehicle while the driver was being distracted. Once your journey is complete, Focus will notify you of how you performed while driving so that you have a real-time indication of whether you were paying attention to the road or your cell phone.

The idea behind the app is to provide the driver with data on how often and for how long they are distracted by a cell phone while driving. Few drivers want to feel like they are a liability on the road, so it is easy for drivers to fool themselves into believing that they are not easily distracted by their cell phones. Focus puts everything in black and white, so there is no denying the level of distraction taking place. The constant reminders also help break the habit of picking up the cell phone every time a notification comes through.

The app cannot distinguish between the driver using the cell phone or someone else, so you may receive unfair admonishments when you were not at fault. Some users have also reported that the app drains the battery on certain devices. However, given that the app is designed to prevent you from being distracted by your cell phone, that is not necessarily a bad thing.

Other Causes of Distracted Driving

The app will not work for every driver, and cell phones are not the only cause of distracted driving. Children fighting, loud music, passengers speaking to the driver and many other activities can cause distracted driving. When a driver is distracted, it is much more difficult to react to other drivers and potential hazards. The reduction in reaction time can make all the difference between being involved in an accident and being able to stop or get out of the way.

If you have been involved in an accident which was caused by a distracted driver, you can seek compensation. Greening Law specializes in personal injury claims, and our team are experts in gaining rewards for clients who have suffered trauma or injury in a motor vehicle accident. If the accident was the fault of the other driver, you are entitled to receive fair compensation for losses incurred as a result of the accident. Contact Greening Law because we fight the legal battle, so you have time for healing and renewal.


Tips for Avoiding Distracted Driving (Teens and Adults)

Tips for Avoiding Distracted Driving (Teens and Adults)

As a major cause of road accidents, distracted driving often results in injury to parties who were not at fault. While you can control what goes on in your own vehicle, it is much more difficult to predict the behavior of other drivers or their passengers. Conscientious drivers will, of course, react much faster to hazards or a potential crash. However, sometimes an accident is unavoidable and all you can hope is that no one involved is seriously injured or killed. If you already practice safe driving, you can only do your part to avoid getting into an accident by limiting distractions, which have the potential to prevent you from foreseeing danger arising from another driver’s lack of attention. The following tips are ways that drivers, whether they are teens or adults, can avoid distracted driving and, especially, distracted drivers.

Cell Phones

It goes without saying that you should never use your cell phone while driving, unless it’s an absolute emergency. In which case, you should try to pull over to a safe place before using your phone. Other passengers, who are using their cell phones or other electronic devices, need to ensure that they are not distracting the driver by talking loudly or having the volume too high. Additionally, it is good practice, if you notice another driver using their cell phone, to exercise extra care and attention to avoid an accident.

Sleep and Alertness

The best way to avoid getting into an accident, whether it is your fault or not, is to ensure you are always alert while driving. Before driving, making sure you have had enough sleep and are fully awake is essential. On long drives, taking breaks or switching drivers where possible, helps keep drivers awake and alert. When observing other drivers on the road, look out for signs of delayed reactions or swerving in traffic. This may indicate that the driver is either intoxicated or falling asleep at the wheel. A tired driver’s attention span and reaction times are severely hindered, creating the potential for causing an accident.

Designated Driver

Whether you are in the car alone or carrying passengers, your only job is driving safely and reaching your destination in one piece. If you need to check or retrieve items in the car, wait until you are able to stop somewhere safe. It only takes a second of inattention for an accident to happen, so it’s really not worth the risk. You can assess your surroundings and road conditions, however, you can’t account for what other drivers might do in that split second while you were distracted. For insurance purposes, the other party is still responsible, but that won’t help ease the pain you might suffer as a result of the accident.

Passenger Behavior

Passengers are often times the greatest distraction of all for drivers. When a driver is trying to concentrate on a busy road, the last thing he or she needs is distractions from passengers. Talking to the driver, playing loud music, kids fighting in the back of the car, is just a small sampling of the ways that passengers can contribute to the cause of an accident. A good driver will set rules for the car, which will ensure that passengers are not causing unneeded distractions. Your focus, as the driver, should be 100% on safeguarding the lives of everyone in the vehicle, as well as other drivers and their passengers. If you see that other vehicles are carrying a lot of passengers, again, use extra caution to avoid getting involved in a collision.

Eating While Driving

It is never safe to eat while driving, regardless of the food stuff. The fact that at least one hand is unavailable to react to hazards, means your chances of being involved in an accident are greatly increased. Drivers who are unable to react quickly enough are more likely to end up in a road accident that, strictly speaking, was not their fault.

If you have taken every step and precaution to ensure that you are safe while driving, yet still end up involved in an accident, you may be in a position to make a personal injury claim. The damage to your car is covered by the insurance company which represents the driver at fault. However, you will still have medical bills to pay which could, depending on the severity of your injuries, put a significant financial burden on you for the rest of your life. There are also potential claims for lost wages, pain, mental anguish, physical impairment and disfigurement.  A personal Injury attorney can make sure that your rights are preserved.  As a careful, considerate driver, you should not have to experience additional stress and negative health impacts for an accident which wasn’t your fault. Reach out to Greening Law today and we can provide you with answers to any questions you may have, and how we can help you receive the compensation you deserve.