The Biggest Distractions Drivers Face and How to Avoid Them

When most people think of distracted driving, texting while driving is often the first thing that comes to mind. Unfortunately, there are many other different types of distractions motorists face while behind the wheel. Many of these seem relatively innocent and safe, but truthfully, they cause just as many fatal accidents as crashes involving cell phones. It is crucial that all drivers know what these distractions are, so they can avoid them and avoid being held liable for a distracted driving accident. Below, our Baton Rouge personal injury lawyer outlines the biggest distractions drivers face.

Texting and Driving

Of course, holding a cell phone to text, post to social media, watch videos, and more is one of the most common forms of distracted driving. Texting while driving is of particular concern with younger drivers, who are already at a higher risk of being involved in a crash. When drivers hold their phones, they take their hands off the wheel and their eyes and focus off the road. The best ways to avoid texting and driving, particularly for those who may find notifications on their phone hard to ignore, include the following:

Silence notifications or turn your phone off while in the car
Keep the phone out of reach, such as storing it in the glove compartment
Use settings or apps to send bounce-back messages letting people know you are busy
Ask a passenger to read and respond to text messages
If it is absolutely necessary to send a message, pull over to a safe spot first
Eating, Drinking, and Smoking

Having a large cup of coffee sitting beside you may seem essential on a long road trip, or you may want to eat while on the road to save yourself some time. Eating, drinking, and smoking are all major distractions when you are behind the wheel, though. You may fumble to open packages using just one hand or to keep food from spilling. Burning your lap or hand with hot coffee can cause you to swerve violently or slam on the brakes, causing someone to rear-end you. To avoid these distractions:

Eat before heading out on the road, and make use of rest stops that offer refreshments along the way
If you need to have something to drink, take a small sip and place the cup down so you are not continuously holding it and driving with one hand
Leave things that have dropped or spilled until you can pull over safely to retrieve them

You may think there is nothing wrong with letting your mind wander a little while you are driving. However, driving requires all of your attention so you can react within just seconds. According to the Insurance Journal, daydreaming is responsible for 62 percent of fatal car accidents. You can avoid this by:

Not driving while you are highly stressed or emotional
Avoiding intense conversations with other people while in the vehicle
If it is absolutely necessary to send a message, pull over to a safe spot first
Passenger Interference

It is not always easy to avoid having passengers in the vehicle, but it is important to ensure they do not become a distraction. Passengers have a very important role in ensuring everyone gets to their destinations safely, and when they are loud or rowdy, they can take the driver’s eyes and focus off the road. To prevent this from happening:

Keep conversation and music at a reasonable volume
Tell any passenger in the front seat that they are responsible for helping with GPS systems, adjusting climate systems, and more
Limit the number of passengers in your vehicle when possible
Adjusting Controls

Technology today has made voice commands possible, making it easier to adjust radio volume, navigational systems, and more without taking your hands off the wheel or your eyes off the road. Still, adjusting certain controls in the car can be a distraction that results in an accident. Some tips to avoid this include:

Take some time to learn how to use technology in the vehicle, such as voice commands
Adjust mirrors, seats, climate, and audio controls before heading out, or wait until you can safely pull over to make these adjustments
Ask the front-seat passenger to make any necessary adjustments

Many people do not realize just how frequently drivers groom while they are behind the wheel. However, this practice is quite common, particularly on long commutes. Fixing hair, applying makeup, or trying to remove or fix items of clothing are all major distractions that can cause an accident. To ensure they do not, following the below tips can help:

Give yourself enough time to perform any necessary maintenance before getting into the vehicle
Warm up the vehicle before getting inside, or dress for the climate
Use rest stops any time an urgent situation arises
Enjoying the Scenery

Beautiful views and scenery are an important part of any road trip, but drivers should never become so distracted by them that they take their eyes off the road. Even when traveling on quiet country roads, an animal can dart out in front of you, or you may come across debris and not have enough time to react. The best tips for making sure your eyes are always on the road in front of you include the following:

Always focus on the road in front of you and not on what is happening out the side window or in your vehicle
Avoid rubber-necking when approaching or passing a car accident
Rely on passengers or GPS technology when looking for an address instead of visually searching for it
Our Car Accident Lawyers in Baton Rouge Can Help After a Crash

You can do everything possible to avoid becoming distracted in your vehicle, but unfortunately, no one can control the actions of other drivers. If you have been hurt, our Baton Rouge car accident lawyers at Big River Trial Attorneys can determine what caused your crash and help you obtain the full and fair settlement you are entitled to. Call us now or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can help.

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