You are likely aware that driving under the influence of alcohol is not only illegal but also one of the most dangerous things you can do. However, you may not be aware that driving distracted can be just as hazardous and dangerous as driving drunk. Unfortunately, distracted driving is becoming increasingly common in California and is one of the main causes of fatal car accidents across the United States.
If you look at society today, it’s easy to see we are becoming increasingly reliant on technology. In fact, most vehicles produced these days come with technology intended to make the driving experience as safe as possible. Yet, some of these features can serve as a distraction for drivers. You may think that distracted driving only pertains to using a cell phone behind the wheel, but, in reality, anything that takes your attention off the road in front of you can be distracted driving.
The many forms of distracted driving
You may think that distracted driving only refers to a driver texting or talking on their cell phone. But if you do anything that takes your attention off the road while driving, you are driving distracted. Distracted driving can look like:
- Using GPS or reading a map
- Adjusting the radio
- Putting on makeup or grooming
- Talking with passengers
If you look at the statistics surrounding distracted driving, it’s easy to see how harmful it can be. Estimates show that there are nine people killed every day in the United States due to distracted driving, and about one in every four car accidents today involves cell phone usage. If you are traveling at 55 mph, and you take your eyes off the road for just 5 seconds to check your phone, you are traveling the length of a football field virtually blindfolded. According to the data from the CDC, you are about eight times more likely to get into a crash if you text while driving.
How to prevent distracted driving
Probably the best way to prevent distracted driving is to become aware and knowledgeable of what distracted driving is. When you are behind the wheel, commit to driving, stay focused and avoid anything that can be a distraction. However, you can only control what you do; it’s impossible to control the actions of other drivers. If you are involved in a car accident caused by a negligent driver, you have options available that can help you in the aftermath.