Distracted driving is becoming a growing concern in the United States. With more people injured each year due to distracted drivers, it is obvious that drivers need to be more proactive in avoiding distractions while behind the wheel. During the holidays, however, this can be especially difficult, as many people get new gadgets that they want to play with and enjoy – whether they are driving a vehicle or not. If you have received the latest MP3 player, a new navigation system, or a new smartphone, it is important you resist the urge to use it while driving.
What Gadgets Cause the Most Distraction?
There are some electronic devices that are more apt to distract a driver than others, these include:
- Navigation systems
- MP3 players
- Hands-free and Bluetooth devices
Keep in mind that, even if you are using a hands-free device, you are still distracted. In fact, any time your mind is engaged in something else – whether it is a conversation with a passenger or even daydreaming – you are distracted, substantially increasing the risk of an accident.
How to Avoid Distractions
You should still enjoy all of the great devices you have received for the holidays, but responsibly. When you are ready to drive, here are a few things you and your entire family can do to avoid distractions on the road:
- Keep the noise down. If your kids got the latest MP3 player or a new DVD system for the family car, you should still not allow loud noises to be played while you are driving. Instead, have them wear headphones so that you can focus on the road. Excessive noise, even if you are not engaged in the activity itself, can still distract you from driving.
- Put your devices away. While it may be tempting to check your smartwatch or even adjust the navigation system, you should never do so while driving. Doing so takes your hands and mind away from the wheel, meaning that you are visually, cognitively, and physically distracted. When all three of these are combined in an activity, it is the most dangerous form of distracted driving.
- Set your new gadgets before you drive away. If you are using the latest navigation system, then set the address and your destination before you actually start driving. Fumbling with a navigation screen or making adjustments will divert your attention from the task at hand.
- Familiarize yourself with it before using it. Sometimes the distractions come because you are not sure how to use your new device. Before you start using it in the vehicle, make sure you understand its functionality and never try to figure out a device while driving.
By taking these steps to be proactive and protect those on the road with you, you can do your part this holiday season. It is inevitable that people will get devices for the holidays, but those that are responsible with their devices can help reduce the number of gadget-related distracted driving accidents we see this year.
Were You Injured by a Distracted Driver? Contact Gladstein Law Firm Today
If you or a loved one was injured in an accident with a distracted driver, contact the attorneys at Gladstein Law Firm for a free consultation. You can schedule your appointment by calling us today, or fill out an online contact form with your questions.