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.
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.
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.
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.