When you think about a driver who is heavily impaired, barely noticing the road and swerving around, you might think of a drunk driver. However, driving under the influence isn’t the only way to make yourself a huge danger to other drivers. Distracted driving leads to thousands of traffic accidents every year.
What is distracted driving, and how can you do your part to cut back on this growing problem? Read on to find out more about this serious issue plaguing American roads.
What Is Distracted Driving?
Put simply, distracted driving refers to any time a driver is looking away from the road and dividing their focus between driving and something else in their view. This can be as innocuous as changing the radio station or as serious as texting and looking completely away from the road.
Lots of things constitute distracted driving. Talking to passengers and completely looking away from the road can lead to accidents. Rubbernecking at traffic accidents is another form of distracted driving that can lead to even more accidents. Even something as common as checking out the cute driver across from you or that attractive jogger on the sidewalk can lead to serious collisions.
How You Can Help
The simplest way to cut back on distracted driving is to simply focus on the road when you’re behind the wheel. If you have passengers with you, don’t turn to face them while driving, and try to not get into particularly involved conversations with them that might divide your focus. If you need to have a serious conversation, pull over.
If you can’t stand the temptation to text or talk on the phone, throw your cellphone in the glove box. If you need to take a call, use a hands-free option, like the car’s Bluetooth or speakerphone. And, this one goes without saying, but we’ll say it anyway: just keep your eyes on the road. Yes, that jogger is cute, but you need to be paying attention to the cars ahead of you, not the fitness enthusiast on the sidewalk.
In many states, distracted driving laws are serious. You could face serious fines and even time behind bars for driving while distracted. In some states, the laws are comparable to those for DUIs. Remember: when you’re behind the wheel, you’re taking your life, and the lives of others on the road, into your hands. Just focus on the road! You can text your buddies when you get where you’re going.