In order to prevent distracted driving, The Network of Employers for Traffic Safety and the Department of Transportation are sponsoring Drive Safely Work Week, lasting through October 7, according to recent news sources.
There are three different types of driver distraction: visual, manual (hands off the wheel), and cognitive (letting your mind be distracted by another issue). NETS has offered some statistics on distraction:
- Drivers who are texting take their eyes off the road 400 percent more than when they are not texting.
- Driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37 percent.
- More texting leads to more crashes. With each additional 1 million text messages, fatalities of distracted driving rose more than 75 percent.
It’s recommended that you put your phone away and silence it while driving. There are also call-blocking features that will let callers know you are behind the wheel.
You can also do your part as a passenger:
- Be the designated call taker, call maker, or texter. If you are making your own calls, speak in a moderate tone of voice and don’t become involved in long conversations that could distract the driver.
- If the driver is not focusing entirely on the road, don’t be afraid to speak up!
- If the driver is trying to look to the right, turn your head and lean back so he has a clear view.
- If driving in an unfamiliar area, allow the driver to focus on the road while you stay alert for road signs or other landmarks.
- Don’t engage the driver in conversations that are heated or emotional in nature.
- Alert the driver to any dangers he may miss, but don’t be a backseat driver.
As a Los Angeles car accident lawyer, I hope that these tips will help you pay more attention to the road. In my experience as a personal injury lawyer, I’ve seen how taking your eyes off the road for even a second can lead to disaster.