3 ways to protect yourself from distracted driving crashes
Distracted driving is one of the biggest risks on the roads today. While more people still die from drunk driving than distracted driving, drivers who don’t pay attention cost thousands of lives every year and hurt tens of thousands of others.
Even if you are responsible at the wheel or with technology, distraction could still endanger you and the people you love. The three tips below can minimize your risk of experiencing a distraction-related crash.
Broaden your definition of distracted driving
For too many people, distracted driving means texting at the wheel or using a phone somehow. The problem was such a specific definition is that it ignores other, similarly dangerous kinds of distraction.
Eating while driving means taking your hands off of the wheel and focusing your mind and eyes somewhere other than the road. Singing along to the radio can also be a distraction, as can passengers and phone conversations held on hands-free devices.
Stop trying to work around texting restrictions
You know you shouldn’t text at the wheel, but you may try to find a way to do it without technically breaking the law. Some people use hands-free systems, like talk-to-text programs, to listen and respond to text messages while driving. Others might text when stopped at a red light but not while moving in traffic. Both of these approaches still put someone at elevated risk of a crash.
Pay attention to nearby vehicles
Defensive driving is a way of managing your vehicle to minimize your risk in traffic. One of the tenets of defensive driving is that you look at everyone as someone capable of causing a crash in the immediate future.
Scanning for signs of distraction in other nearby drivers can help you notice someone’s problem behavior in time to prevent a crash. When you get better at identifying people using their phones or eating at the wheel, you’ll be able to give them more space so that they don’t hurt you because of their distraction.
If someone does cause a wreck, then you may need to file an insurance claim or even consider filing a civil lawsuit. Avoiding a motor vehicle collision is ideal, but knowing your rights if you experience one is also important for your personal protection.