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8 Ways to Reduce Your Risks of Driving while Distracted

Posted in Car Accident on October 15, 2018

Due to increasing media awareness efforts and law enforcement campaigns, more and more drivers are recognizing the dangers of distracted driving. However, many drivers still do things behind the wheel that can take their eyes and attention off the road and the task at hand. Any time drivers aren’t fully focused on safely maneuvering their vehicles on Tennessee’s roadways, their chances of being involved in crashes significantly increase.

Most drivers don’t intentionally attempt to distract themselves while they’re behind the wheel, and many may not even realize that they’re actually distracted while their vehicles are in motion. That’s because there are so many potentially distracting things that can catch drivers’ attention, especially when they don’t realize the dangers associated with seemingly ordinary and everyday occurrences.

If you or someone you love was hurt in a distracted driving crash, it’s important to get legal representation right away. Proving that the other driver was distracted—and therefore negligent—can leave the insurance company with no choice but to fairly compensate you for the damages you incurred, including your medical bills and lost wages. Trust our experience and track record of success when it comes to handling distracted driving claims. Contact us today at (615) 200-1111 or complete a free online form.

Prevent Distracted Driving with These Tips

At Matt Hardin Law, our Nashville auto accident attorneys have helped many people who were hurt in distracted driving-related crashes, and we know that the causes of those crashes are varied. While many involve cell phones, others can involve factors that many drivers aren’t aware of. That’s why it’s important to do everything you can to avoid being in a situation where you may become distracted while you’re behind the wheel of your vehicle.

A few simple steps include:

  1. Set your smartphone to Do Not Disturb mode. Many smartphones have features that can detect when vehicles are in motion. They will automatically send text responses to any numbers that send text messages or make phone calls. This is one of the most important ways to avoid distracted driving, because even receiving a notification of a text message or hearing your phone right while you’re driving can make you more likely to crash.
  2. Send important text messages or make important phone calls before and after you drive. It’s a fact of life that many of us need to be reachable and able to communicate with others frequently throughout the day. If you anticipate needing to make an important call or send a vital text message, do so before you start your vehicle or after you’ve safely arrived at your destination. If it’s an emergency or you can’t wait until your trip is finished, pull over to a safe location to use your phone.
  3. Make sure pets and children are properly secured and restrained. When you’re driving, the last thing you should have to deal with is pets or children getting out of their seats and roaming inside your vehicle. Both pets and children can be significant sources of distraction when they’re not properly secured or enclosed. Buckle up your children in seat belts or age appropriate restraints, and never travel with your pet unless he or she is traveling in a size-appropriate enclosure or pet carrier.
  4. Use your smartphone’s turn-by-turn directions for navigational help. One of the most convenient features in modern smartphones is their GPS functionality. It makes finding new destinations or avoiding traffic jams much easier than ever before. But that same functionality also adds a new dimension of distraction to our everyday lives—especially when we rely on the screen. Instead of looking at the map and upcoming turns on your phone, rely on the turn-by-turn voice navigation to get to your destination.
  5. Make interior adjustments before you put your vehicle in drive. Driving is a complex task that’s made even more complex by all of the features available in modern vehicles. Everything from mirrors and climate controls to stereos and seat positions can be controlled with the touch of a button on most vehicles, but controlling them while you’re driving can be just as distracting as sending a text message. Adjust everything inside your vehicle to your liking and your preferences before you head out on your journey to reduce your chances of being involved in an accident.
  6. Eat and finish all grooming tasks before leaving home. Having a quick bite to eat or applying makeup behind the wheel can be a tempting prospect for many drivers, especially when they’re running late to work or an appointment. But both activities can be highly distracting. Give yourself extra time in the morning to eat breakfast and finish routine hygiene and grooming tasks. If you get food to-go or from a drive-thru, either pull over in a safe location to eat it or wait until you arrive at your destination. Never eat while your vehicle is in motion.
  7. Secure loose objects near you and throughout your vehicle. The shifting weight and momentum of your vehicle as you accelerate, brake, and navigate through turns can cause loose objects in your vehicle to slid off seats, roll around in your cargo space, or even wedge underneath your gas or brake pedals. Items that aren’t properly secured can be distracting while you’re driving, and you may be tempted to reach for them while your vehicle is moving. Make sure there are no loose items in your car before you head out on your trip.
  8. Give yourself plenty of time to arrive at your destination. Sometimes you can be distracted without ever taking your eyes off the road. One of the most common ways that happens is when drivers are running late or feeling pressed for time. In addition to making it more difficult to concentrate on driving safely, you also may be more likely to engage in dangerous and even aggressive driving behaviors, such as passing where prohibited or following other vehicles too closely. When you aren’t worried about being late, you’ll be more likely to be calm, relaxed, and focused on safety.

Those are just a few of the most common forms of distractions drivers face on a daily basis. It’s important to remember that nothing is more essential to your safety and the safety of others than your focus on defensive driving every moment that your vehicle is in motion. Defensive driving requires constant awareness and attention of your surroundings and the movement and positioning of your own vehicle, and any distractions can significantly impair your ability to accomplish that.

Why Call Matt Hardin Law after a Distracted Driving Accident?

Don’t get just any lawyer after a crash that was caused by a distracted driver. Get a lawyer who understands what you’re going through and who has your best interests in mind.

Our legal team has decades of experience fighting for the rights of victims like you, and we’ll put our experience to work for you and your loved ones beginning the day you call us until the day you receive your check. You deserve experienced representation and full compensation for your losses, and we’ll do everything we can to make sure you get both.