In the last few years, the incidence of fatal traffic accidents involving texting-while-driving, cell phone use, and other distractions has risen by 28%. A California injury attorney offers safety tips for avoiding this deadly practice.
Recently, in an effort to combat distracted driving, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety challenged people to drive distraction free for one week—“Heads Up Driving Week”—with the hope that they would practice the good driving habit for life, explains a California injury attorney.
Over the past three years, there has been a 28% increase in fatal traffic accidents involving texting-while-driving, cell phone use, and other distractions. While not every auto accident results in a fatality, a recent study suggests that up to 8,000 crashes and 500,000 occupant injuries occur each day that are directly linked to distracted driving. Statistically, you are six times more likely to suffer an accident texting-while-driving than if you were intoxicated.
Whether you are texting to a friend or updating your Twitter account, neither is important enough to risk your life. If you must communicate with someone while driving, pull off to the side of the road and call that person.
Being a “heads up driver” means thinking ahead and staying focused on your driving. Here are a few other AAA tips to avoid being distracted:
- Put away all of your electronic gear so you won’t be tempted to use it.
- Don’t eat or drink while driving. If you are on a long road trip, stop every couple of hours to stretch and eat a snack.
- Check road maps and traffic conditions before you start to drive. Have a general plan for your trip and pull to the side of the road if you need to concentrate on the directions.
- While travelling with a child, make sure everyone is buckled in and has a toy or some form of entertainment to keep them occupied.
- Don’t apply make-up, shave, or any other primping that may distract you from the road.
- Perform a quick visual on the floor of your car. Pick-up anything that might roll under your seat and become lodged under the brake or accelerator.
We must balance our need to communicate with the ability to focus on the road. Let’s all take the “Heads up” challenge and avoid distracted driving all year round.
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