Staying Safe Behind the Wheel: A Guide to Avoid Distracted Driving

Distracted driving has become a more and more prevalent concern in today’s fast paced world. With nearly everyone in the United States utilizing smart phones and other gadgets, it is more important than ever to make sure that we prioritize our safety on the road. Today the number one cause of car accidents is distracted driving, leading to 3,522 deaths caused by distracted driving. With that in mind it is important that you take steps to ensure that you are safe on the road. In this article we will be providing steps that you will be able to take to avoid distractions and keep your eyes off the screen, and on the road.

Put Away Your Phone

The number one contributor to distracted driving is smartphone usage. To minimize distractions, it is crucial that you place your phone on silent, or a designated “drive mode”, or better yet place your phone out of reach while you are driving. In Utah there is a strict law prohibiting the use of any mobile devices while driving, and the usage of a cell phone can result in penalties. There are a few caveats, in the chance that you do have to use your phone, either for a medical emergency, or to report an accident, try to use hands free options like bluetooth or voice controls, as well as having a passenger respond for you.

Plan Ahead

Another way to prevent distracted driving is to plan ahead before you hit the road. Make sure that you have taken the time to adjust your mirrors, set your GPS, and select your music or podcast before you start driving. By doing this beforehand you reduce the need to fiddle with these things while driving, allowing you to maintain your focus on driving.

Limit Multi-Tasking

Did you know that the human brain cannot properly multi-task? We lack the ability to truly complete two tasks that require high-level brain function at the same time, so why do we insist on doing them while we drive? Tasks like eating, doing your makeup, or even reading while driving can all divert your attention from the road. Any of these tasks should be finished before you start driving, or if it is absolutely vital, pull over in a safe location to complete these tasks. When you are driving you should try to eliminate the need to multitask, as it pulls your attention from the road leaving you and anyone else on the road at a greater risk of an accident.

Stay Organized

Another great way to help keep your attention on the road is to keep your car organized. While an organized car may sound like an unnecessary step, it can help minimize distractions. By securing loose items around your car such as water bottles, snacks, or electronic devices it helps prevent them from rolling around and taking away your attention while you drive. By maintaining an organized car you will help to focus your concentration on driving.

Educate Passenger and Utilize Technology Wisely

If you are driving with passengers, you should be sure to let them know that your focus is on the road. It can help to encourage them to assist with tasks like navigating, adjusting controls, as well as handling calls if necessary. This can go hand in hand with utilizing your car’s technology. Modern cars now are coming equipped with advanced safety features, such as lane departures and collision avoidance systems.  Familiarize yourself and your passengers with these features as they can be extremely helpful for longer journeys.

Take Breaks on Long Trips

Fatigue is a significant contributor to distracted driving. When you are on long trips, it is important to make sure that you take time to stretch your legs and rest. This can be stopping to get food, or pulling off to a rest stop on your journey. By taking these breaks you will be able to stay more alert and focused throughout the rest of your journey.

In the state of Utah between 2017-2021 there were 27,514 distracted driving crashes that resulted in 15,004 injuries. Something needs to change, as we need to make a more conscious effort to prioritize our safety and the safety of those around us over our own convenience. By implementing the steps that we highlighted above, you can significantly reduce the risk of car accidents caused by these distractions. However, if you have been injured by an accident caused by a distracted driver it is important to contact a car accident lawyer. The legal professionals at LifeLaw Personal Injury have a team of the best car accident lawyers in Utah, and are happy to provide legal services and support to all of their clients. If you or a loved one has been injured and it was not your fault contact the best car accident lawyers in Utah today for a free consultation, and to discuss your options further.