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Reducing and managing distractions for drivers

It seems like something new or better comes out each year, resulting in residents in Massachusetts and elsewhere purchasing these trendy gadgets or pieces of technology. While technological advancements provide many benefits, these advancements could prove to be very hazardous in certain circumstances. One place where these devices could be dangerous is in an automobile.

Distracted driving has been a growing concern on roadways across the nation. While various campaigns and regulations have been initiated to address this driving hazard, this does not deter all drivers from partaking in such activities. Therefore, it is essential for drivers to note ways to reduce and manage common distractions for drivers.

First, the most important thing a driver should do before starting his or her vehicle and putting it in drive is to turn off their cell phone or switching it to silent mode. If a driver cannot hear a phone going off for a call or text then he or she will not be tempted to use their phone. Next, individuals should set up a special message that will alert a person texting or calling that you are driving. This is available through certain services that can be signed up for.

If it is essential that a driver make a call, he or she should pull over to a safe area first. This will ensure that no distractions will occur from the phone call. Additionally, if there are passengers in the vehicle, a driver should use them to make a call or send a text for them. Drivers should also be aware of the local and state laws where they are driving. In some cases, it is prohibited to use a handheld cell phone.

Other common distractions are getting lost, pets and children. While maps and a GPS help a driver get to where they are headed, these are distracting for a driver. Therefore, it is important for drivers to review maps before they start to drive. Additionally, pets can be very distracting if they are not secured. Therefore, drivers should make sure that they are safely secured before beginning to drive. Young children could generate distractions if they are crying, loud or fighting. In order to safely address any of these situations, drivers should pull over to a safe location.

A distracted driver could easily cause a serious car accident. Therefore, those harmed in the crash should understand the cause. Investigation could help determine the cause and help victims hold a negligent driver liable for the injuries, losses and damages arising from the incident.

Source: Mass.gov, "10 Tips for Managing Driver Distractions," accessed August 1, 2016

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