You’ve probably heard about the dangers of driving distracted your entire adult life. From the moment we’re taught how to drive, we learn about the dangerous factors on the road, and how important it is to pay attention at all times. Even a split second of looking away from what’s in front of us can cause tragedy to occur. The smallest distractions are typically what cause the most terrible accidents, and with thousands of people dying each and every year from car accidents that could have been avoided, it’s important to understand how distracted driving affects us now more than ever.
We live in a society of multitaskers. Technology may make our lives easier, but it also allows us to move at a faster pace than ever before, and that’s not always necessarily a good thing. Sometimes, slowing down and checking out what’s around you is incredibly important, and the overall buzz of the world has made it a bit harder than ever to do that. Technology itself has become a huge factor in distracted driving over the years, because people can’t get enough of it, even when they’re driving. But, it’s not solely to blame. After all, technology is manned by us; the users.
Other common examples of distracted driving situations include things like eating, changing the radio, texting or using the phone/GPS, or other people in the car – especially kids. This is just a small example, since anything can become a distraction if we let it. You may drop something and reach down to pick it up, for example. Even if you think you’re keeping your eyes on the road, a quick glance down is all it takes for everything in front of you to change, and it can be too late to correct the mistake, sometimes.
The Legalities of Distracted Driving
There probably won’t ever be a way for the law to completely rule out distracted driving, since the options for it are endless. People can be distracted by so many things, and most of them happen in a split second. So, it’s fairly impossible for law enforcement to be able to do anything if you glance down to pick something up, or take a bite of a sandwich from a fast food window, etc. But, some of the most common problems have been addressed, and legal action has been taken to try to put a stop to them. Or, at the very least, make people more aware of the trouble they could get into.
But, if the alternative is a tragic car accident, getting some kind of citation as a reminder doesn’t seem so bad, right?
The Use of Technology
In recent years, the number of car accidents influenced by texting, or using a cell phone has risen incredibly. Because of this, many states throughout the country have banned the use of cellphones while driving. This ban ranges in severity from state to state, but the main purpose is the same; to keep people from being distracted by their electronic devices. Yes, it can be tempting to quickly answer a text message, or call up a friend while you’re driving, etc. But, research has found that we’re not fully aware of our surroundings when we’re doing this, and one simple text message can end up putting you in an accident.
Other Important Factors
The list goes on and on when it comes to examples of distracted driving. One factor we haven’t yet mentioned is alcohol consumption, which is, of course, always a large component when you talk about safety behind the wheel. It’s likely we all have already heard the importance of driving sober, and avoiding driving under the influence. Not only is this important from a legal standpoint, but from a safety standpoint, as well.
Driving distracted is typically about common sense. None of these factors or examples are really ‘new’ at all – most have been around for decades as warning signs for people on the road. But, as we get more comfortable with driving throughout the years, some of these examples can become shaky, and we can let them slip to the back of our minds. We may not think anything ‘bad’ will happen to us, or that we’ve got a better handle on our driving than someone else, etc.
However, the bottom line is that distracted driving can affect anyone, and it only takes a second. No one is immune to the consequences, which is why it still remains so important to have ‘refreshers’ like this, to remind us of what we may be doing wrong on a daily basis as we drive. With these examples in mind at all times, you can stay safer on the road, and feel better about simply getting from one destination to the next.