Car Accident Lawyer Discusses Tips for Avoiding a Distracted Driving Accident
For many people, their cell phones are never far from them, even while they are driving explains a NYC car accident lawyer at the F&A injury law firm. Unfortunately, some drivers use their phones to text a friend or otherwise engage in distracted driving behavior while driving. This distracted driving behavior sometimes causes accidents, either with other drivers or even with pedestrians, which can result in serious injury or death.
Currently, New York state lawmakers are looking at a law that would allow police to scan the cell phones of people who were involved in car crashes to see if cell phone distractions contributed to the crash. Whether the law is enacted or not, there are several things you can do to reduce your chances of being involved in a distracted driving accident.
Whenever you are driving, your focus should be on driving, not on other things. There are several steps you can take to make yourself a less-distracted driver:
- Do not use your cell phone while driving. While cell phones are not the only driving distractions, for many people they are the main distraction. Talking on your phone can distract you, but anything that takes your eyes off the road, such as texting or looking at a web page, causes an even more serious distraction. According to New York state law, hand-held cell phone use is prohibited while driving.
- If you know you are going to be tempted to pick-up your phone while driving, put it somewhere you cannot reach it, such as in your trunk or in the backseat, and turn off the sound.
- Whenever possible, avoid eating or drinking anything, especially messy foods, while driving. If are eating and you drop any food, do not attempt to retrieve it while driving.
- Do not multi-task while driving. This means avoiding things such as brushing your hair, putting on make-up, or reading a book while driving. It also includes adjusting your mirror, or doing any other activity that could take your mind or your eyes off the road.
- Avoid rubbernecking. Looking to see what happened at an accident scene or turning partway around to see if you know the person pulled over by the police could lead to you crashing into another vehicle.
- Get enough sleep, especially when driving long distances. If you are sleepy, your mind may wander more, or you may struggle to concentrate on the road. In extreme cases, if you do not get enough sleep, you may fall asleep while driving.
- Try to avoid driving when you are overly emotional. Strong emotions can cause a driving distraction.
- Be aware of the drivers around you. Notice drivers who are driving erratically or who otherwise might be distracted. If you fear for your safety or the safety of someone else, get the driver’s license plate number, and either pull off the road or have a passenger call the police to report the unsafe driver.
As a pedestrian, it is important that you take the proper precautions to decrease your chances of being injured by a distracted driver. Here are a few of the things that you can do:
- Eliminate your own distractions. Walking and talking on your phone, texting, or otherwise using your cell phone can cause problems. Avoid other activities, such as reading a book or listening to loud music while walking or jogging.
- When possible use sidewalks. When sidewalks are not available, walk as close to the edge of the road as possible.
- Never assume a driver will stop for you. Even if you see the driver, the driver may not see you. Do not cross the street until you are sure that the driver has seen you and has stopped to allow you to cross the street.
- Be extra careful when walking along busy streets, and use crosswalks when they are available. When stoplights have pedestrian signals, obey the signals.
Unfortunately, even if you are working to be a safe driver or pedestrian, others on the road may not be as careful. If you were injured in a car accident caused by another driver, contact us.