Three Easy Ways To Avoid Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is a leading cause of car accidents today. Around 421,000 people were hurt in car wrecks that involved distracted driving in the year 2012, the most recent year for which data is available. The United States Department of Transportation calls distracted driving a "dangerous epidemic." Although you can't control other drivers, you can take measures to increase your own safety while on the road. Here are three easy ways to avoid distracted driving.

Eating and Driving

You may feel quite confident in your ability to eat with one hand on the steering wheel. Even if that is the case, consider what happens when your food drips or spills as you eat. It's only natural to look down to see what happened to the rest of your meal, but a single glance could be a major mistake.

Being distracted by your food, even for a moment, can decrease your reaction time and ruin your awareness of what's going on around you. When you don't eat and drive, you don't risk a wreck just for a bite of that burrito.

Talking, Texting, and Driving

Texting and driving is outlawed in 44 states, and it is consequently becoming quite well known that texting and driving can be very dangerous. By contrast, only 14 of those states currently have a "hands free" law regarding talking on cell phones.

This means that in the majority of U.S. states, it is still legal to use a hand-held cell phone while on the road. Although it may still be legal in your area, that doesn't mean you should use your hand-held cell phone to have a conversation while you drive.

Consider how distracting a phone call can be even when you're focused entirely on the call. If you need to adjust the volume, end the call, or take another call, your attention will go to the phone rather than the road. It's always best to avoid using the phone at all when you're on the road, but if you must do so, minimize risk by using a hands-free device.

Climate Control and Driving

It may be surprising to think of climate control as a potential distraction while driving, but it definitely can be just that. Think of how you feel when you're suddenly completely overheated while driving. Most people remedy the situation immediately, while on the road.

How would you react, for example, if your "bun warmer" was turned up to uncomfortable heat levels while you're driving down the road? You'd probably reach over to the control panel to switch it to the "off" position. Unfortunately, that few seconds of distraction could be enough time to cause a wreck.

This distraction can be avoided by making certain that your car is already at a comfortable temperature before you start driving. This is a very easy fix that only takes a few extra moments before you start driving.

No matter how cautious you are, there may be times when a wreck can't be avoided. If you are in a wreck that was caused by a distracted or negligent driver, you owe it to yourself to get fair compensation. Unfortunately, you can't force everyone else to take the precautionary measures listed above, but you do have the ability to fight back when they don't. If you need help after an accident, call a law firm, like, to help with your case.