Keeping Your Eyes on the Road: How To Avoid Distracted Driving

Did you know that sending or reading a text while driving takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. At 55 mph, that is like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed. Sending a text is one of the main causes of distracted driving which is one of the most common causes of car accidents in America. According to recent statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) distracted driving claimed 3,308 peoples lives in 2022. With this amount of deaths caused by distracted driving it is crucial that we understand how we can keep our eyes focused and on the road.

Recognizing The Risks of Distracted Driving

Distracted driving does not only refer to using your phone behind the wheel, but rather anything that can take your eyes off of the wheel. It is important to recognize that activities like eating, adjusting your GPS, or changing your music can take your eyes off of the road for seconds at a time. While these actions may seem insignificant they can significantly impair your reaction times and can often lead to accidents. In order to keep your eyes on the road consider the following:

Use Technology Wisely

Technology is often a distraction while driving, however it can be used as a tool to help us stay focused on the road:

  • Set Up Your GPS Before You Start Driving: To help prevent any unnecessary use of screens try to pre-program your destination before you start driving, or use hands free features to set up your destination. Doing this can help you avoid adjusting your route while the car is moving and prevent any time where your eyes would be off the road.
  • Use Apps That Block Incoming Texts and Calls While Driving: Features on your phone like “Do Not Disturb: or specific driving apps can prevent notifications from displaying on your phone while driving, allowing your focus to be solely on driving.

Organize Your Space

Keeping the interior of your vehicles organized can greatly minimize the need to search for any items while you are driving. Try to make sure that all of your necessities, such as sunglasses, toll fees, or beverages are easily within arms reach and have been placed somewhere to avoid shifting around while your car is in motion.

Secure Children and Pets

If you are traveling with any children or pets, always make sure that children are buckled in properly and that pets are sitting in a designated seating area or in a pet carrier. Unsecured pets or kids moving around in the car can be a significant distraction and can drag your attention from the road for large periods of time.

Keeping Your Eyes on the Road

Although it may sound obvious to keep your eyes on the road sometimes it can be hard to maintain your focus on the street in front of you. If you are struggling to maintain focus try:

  • Practicing the 20-20-20 Rule: On road trips and long drives it can be common to fall into Highway Hypnosis. This can result in you losing focus on where you are going and what you are doing. In cases like this try to practice the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, glance away from the road at something 20 feet away for about 20 seconds. This can help reduce eye strain and keep your mind active and alert.
  • Adjust Your Vehicle Settings Before You Leave: Try to get into a habit of setting all of your car settings before you hit the road. This means setting your mirror positions, seat position, climate control, and sound systems before leaving.
  • Avoid Looking at Accident Scenes or Billboards: Car accidents and billboards can drag your attention from the road and are some of the most common distractions you can see on your travels.

Educating Young Drivers

Teen drivers tend to be particularly susceptible to distracted driving. With this in mind it is important to set a good example and display safe driving habits. It is also important for teen drivers to understand the importance of safe driving and maintaining a safe environment for everyone who shares the road. 

By implementing these tips, you as a driver can significantly reduce your risk of causing or being involved in an accident due to distracted driving. Always remember to keep your focus on the road as anything can happen in the seconds that you look away. If you or someone you know has been injured due to a distracted driving accident be sure to contact the best car accident lawyers in Salt Lake City at LifeLaw Personal Injury. Our team of car accident lawyers will fight tirelessly for you to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve for the injuries you have suffered. If you are hurt contact LifeLaw Personal Injury today for a free consultation and to discuss your options further.