It doesn’t matter where you are driving, it’s critical to keep 100% of your focus on the road and what’s happening around you. This holds true on the highway, in the city and even when you’re driving on low-trafficked roads that are out of the way.
While there are many examples and types of distracted driving, these five are among the most common:
- Daydreaming: Rather than focus on the road, you’re thinking about something else in your life. From a conversation you had at the office to the big game that evening, anything that creeps into your mind can distract you from the task at hand.
- Cellphone use: Don’t talk, text, browse the internet or do anything else on your phone while your vehicle is in motion. If you need to use your phone, even if only for a couple seconds, it’s best to move to safety before doing so.
- Passengers: When driving with other people in your vehicle, it’s critical that you don’t let them distract you. It’s easy to get lost in conversation with a front seat passenger, or to turn around to chat with a child in the backseat. It’s okay to drive with people in your vehicle, and, obviously, we rely on cars to shuttle around the kids and for other carpooling reasons, but make sure passengers don’t become a distraction.
- Drinking or eating: Your car is not the place to drink or eat, even if it’s your only option on a given day. Any time you do this, you take one or more hand off the wheel, which increases the risk of an accident. And depending on what you’re eating or drinking, it may require two hands.
- Reaching: There are times when you’ll want to reach for something when driving. This can be anything from a drink in your cupholder to a map in your glove box. If you need to reach, stop your vehicle first. If you don’t, you’re taking a hand off the wheel and your eyes off the road.
Knowledge of the most common forms of distracted driving will help you avoid trouble, but remember this: Not all other drivers are as serious about preventing an accident as you.
If a distracted driver crashes into your vehicle, call 911 to ensure that help quickly arrives at the scene. Receive medical treatment, learn more about the accident and then file an insurance claim. Take the necessary steps in holding the distracted driver responsible for your injuries and other accident-related damages.