Types of Driving Distractions and How to Avoid Them

Cell phones are one of the biggest driving distractions. Drivers who text and drive in Alabama are 23 times more likely to get into a serious accident – 23 times! One would think this statistic alone would be enough to discourage people from driving while distracted. Sadly, as a Birmingham, AL car wreck attorney can attest, it is not.

There’s a traffic accident in Alabama every 200 seconds. So, in the time it takes you to read this blog, there will be another 1-2 accidents. Take a moment to let that sink in. The sad thing is that a lot of these accidents could have been avoided.

People don’t realize just how dangerous it is to drive while distracted. Distracted driving is any situation where someone takes their eyes off the road for a few seconds. Taking your eyes off the road for even 2-3 seconds is like driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed. Even on a dare, people wouldn’t do that sort of thing. Yet people in Alabama get behind the wheel every day and do exactly that.

Every state does what it can to discourage distracted driving. They put up billboards, use flashing reminder signs on busy highways and even dedicate entire websites to the topic. Yet, people are still getting hurt and killed in distracted driving accidents all the time. Why?

Your odds of getting injured in a distracted driving wreck will decrease dramatically if you’re aware of what these distractions really are.

What are Some of the More Common Driving Distractions?

A lot of people think that texting and driving is the most common type of distracted driving. Believe it or not, that’s not the case. While texting and driving is dangerous, it’s not the most common driving distraction.

The biggest cause of distracted driving is simply not paying attention. When we get behind the wheel, our minds start to wander. Maybe you’re thinking about what you’re going to cook for the kids for dinner. Or, you could be thinking about a meeting at work that you’ve been trying to avoid. Either way, these things tend to occupy our minds all the time. When this happens, we can’t really pay attention to the road the way we should.

Another major driving distraction is watching other drivers. It’s impossible to drive without noticing other people on the road. Maybe you’re busy admiring the vehicle next to you. Or perhaps you see someone behind you that you think you know. When you spend time looking at another car or driver, you can’t possibly be paying enough attention to your own driving.

Here are some of the other common driving distractions in Alabama:

  • Eating or drinking
  • Putting on makeup or grooming
  • Using handheld and mobile devices
  • Searching for a radio station
  • Talking to other people in the car – especially passengers in the backseat
  • Listening to a podcast or audiobook

If you pay attention to how often you do these things, you’ll notice just how much time you devote to these distractions.

What are the Best Ways to Avoid Driving Distractions?

If you try to stay focused and pay attention to what you’re doing behind the wheel, you should be able to avoid most driving distractions. However, we are human. It’s not easy to avoid all distractions. Here are a few ways you can avoid driving distractions:

  • Don’t bring handheld devices with you. If you do, keep them away in the glove box or your purse.
  • Set the radio before you leave the house.
  • If you have kids in the backseat, give them something to occupy them.
  • Don’t text and drive. Don’t even keep your phone within arm’s length.
  • Pay attention to the road, not other drivers.
  • Don’t eat your lunch or snacks while the car is in drive
  • Get ready for work at home – not in the car

If you follow these practical tips, you should be able to avoid most driving distractions.

However, if you do get injured in a distracted driving accident, you should contact our Birmingham, AL car wreck law office as soon as possible. If you have been injured, contact the experienced car accident lawyers at Hare, Wynn, Newell & Newton.

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