It is common for people to forget the risks involved when driving. According to the Louisiana Crash Data Reports, there were over 1,047 crashes and 722 fatalities in 2018. Car accidents occur for a number of reasons, but one of the leading causes is distracted driving. Distracted driving causes 1 million car accidents every year, 1 in 10 of which are fatal.
Common Driving Distractions That Contribute to Accidents
Texting and talking on the phone while driving is one of the most common distractions that cause accidents. Using a cell phone while driving is cognitively distracting because it impairs a driver’s visual and physical attention. Looking down to read a text may only take seconds, but those seconds is all it takes to be involved in a catastrophic accident.
Other distractions can lead to a car accident, including:
- Using your GPS system while driving
- Using your audio system while driving
- Eating or drinking while driving
- Smoking while driving
- Distracted by pets
Ways to Prevent Distracted Driving Accidents
- Put your phone on Do Not Disturb while driving: Hands-free devices can still cause you to miss important visual and audio cues needed to avoid accidents. For such reasons, it is best to use your cell phone for emergency situations only. If you have to take a call or send a text message, it is best to pull over before you do.
- Pull off the road if you are drowsy: Driving fatigued makes it four times more likely to be involved in a crash. Studies show that driving tired is just as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol—37 percent of U.S. drivers have nodded off or fallen asleep at least once. If you are feeling tired, you should get off the road and rest.
- Map your location before you begin driving: If you use a GPS system to map your route, enter your destination before driving.
- Secure your pets before you begin driving: Many people like to let their pets sit on their lap or roam the car freely, but pets can be a major distraction while driving. We recommend securing your pet while the vehicle is moving.
- Stay focused at all times: Make sure to remain focus on the road at all times and aware of your surroundings. Remember, even if you are not distracted, there is no guarantee that other drivers around you are also driving responsibly. Staying alert at all times will reduce the chances of being in an accident.
If you have been involved in a car accident because of another person’s negligence, you have the right to seek compensation for your losses. Contact our New Orleans car accident lawyers today for a free consultation at (504) 608-3211!