By now, every driver should know that texting or otherwise using your smartphone while driving is extremely dangerous. However, many people fail to realize other types of distracted driving behaviors that they may engage in regularly.
Activities are considered to be distracting if they cause any of the following:
Taking your eyes off the road
Removing your hands from the steering wheel
Not focusing on the task of driving safely
The following are some common causes of distracted driving that you should avoid whenever possible.
Eating and Drinking
Many people take their coffee with them to drink during their morning commute. Others may go through drive-thrus on a road trip and eat the food while they are behind the wheel. Whatever the situation may be, most drivers may assume it is harmless to eat or drink while driving, though they fail to realize just how distracting this can be.
Paying Attention to Your Children
Every parent knows that kids can get restless in the car, whether it is a short drive or a long road trip. Very small children may drop pacifiers or other objects they need to stay calm. Older children may want snacks, movies changed, toys, and more. Many parents do not hesitate to reach back in the backseat to help their kids or constantly watch children in the rearview mirror. The reality is that tending to children in the backseat can lead to serious crashes.
Using Technology in Your Vehicle
Car manufacturers would not put tech systems in vehicles if they were unsafe, right? Unfortunately, research has shown that using both touchscreen systems and hands-free systems while driving can be highly distracting. Be aware of your distraction levels whenever using your car’s GPS or hands-free call or text technology.
Recognize When Other Drivers Might be Distracted
Even if you never engage in distracted driving, you can still be involved in a distracted driving accident due to the behaviors of other drivers. While you can never know for certain whether another driver is or is not focused on the road, there are some common signs of distracted driving. Such signs include:
Sudden deceleration and acceleration
Hitting the brakes later than they should
Swerving, weaving, or leaving their intended lane
Seeing someone using a smartphone, eating, or engaging in another distracting activity
If you notice any of the above signs or other types of erratic driving, you should allow that vehicle as much space as possible. This defensive driving move can help keep you and your passengers safe from a collision and serious injuries.
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The Law Firm of David C. Chavez, LLC, works to hold distracted drivers responsible for the harm and damages they cause. Our experienced auto accident attorney handles many types of insurance claims and injury lawsuits in New Mexico. If you suffered an injury, call 505-865-9696 or contact us online for a free case evaluation.