Archive for Texting

Tips for Decreasing Your Risk of Distracted Driving

Remaining attentive and staying focused are important factors in promoting driver safety. While we are well aware that becoming distracted while driving is dangerous, it is something that happens far too often. Cell phones and other devices stretch our attention while passengers and multitasking also take our focus away from the road. In order to avoid distracted driving, here is a list of helpful tips.

Avoid Cell Phones

Given the increasing number of laws preventing the use of cell phones while driving, it is no secret that cell phones are one of the leading causes of distraction in a vehicle. You’ve probably seen the commercials presenting terrible stories of accidents in which a cell phone distracted a driver. While these commercials are dramatic, they raise a valid point.

Talking on the phone or texting takes away from the amount of attention that we can allocate to the road. Instead of having all of our senses focused on the task at hand, they are skewed as we attempt to simultaneously operate our vehicle and carry on a conversation.

Rather than running the risk of getting a ticket or causing an accident it is a wise choice to avoid cell phone use in the car. While certain things may need our immediate attention and demand cell phone use, there are ways around this. For instance, if you needed to make an important call to your boss at Bortek Industries you could pull over to make the call or call before you begin driving.

The same concept goes for sending text messages and checking your phone for email and other information. If utilizing your phone is important, take care of your business before you begin driving or pull over. This is your best bet for ensuring the safety of yourself and those around you.

Avoid Other Devices

While cell phones may be one of the central culprits for distracted driving other electronic devices are also dangerous. iPods and navigation systems are examples of distracting devices that are commonly utilized in vehicles.

In order to avoid the risk of becoming distracted behind the wheel, taking precautions with these devices can be beneficial. Rather than trying to input information into your navigator while driving you can do so before beginning your trip. The same goes for iPods as you can select playlists prior to driving on the road. These preliminary steps will prevent you from needing to take your eyes off the road to select songs or to input your desired destination.

Multitasking

Aside from operating an electronic device, there are multiple other dangerous forms of multitasking when it comes to operating a vehicle. Reaching for an object, doing your make up and eating food are all examples of tasks that take your attention away from the road. Also, tasks of this nature require you to take your hands off the wheel and make it difficult to adjust to situations.

It’s pretty difficult to swerve away from debris or to when your hands are busy eating French fries or reaching for an item you dropped. Whether or not you choose to perform one of these miniscule tasks while driving can be the difference between a safe trip and having an accident. The positive aspect of this issue is that these are all things that can wait until you reach your destination. Pick up your wallet later, fix your make up in the parking lot, wait on enjoying your fast food and devote your attention to driving.

Passengers

Ensuring that your passengers don’t become a distraction is another important aspect of safe driving according to the California Department of Motor Vehicles. Encourage friends to be respectful of your current task and teach children that driving is a serious activity that needs your full attention.

In terms of pets, keeping them in the back seat or utilizing transportation crates are methods for preventing them from interfering with the driving process. While we all love our pets, having your dog or cat crawling around beneath your feet while you drive presents a risk that you don’t need to take.

Decreasing the number of factors that distract you while you drive involves decreasing the number of activities, objects and companions that you allow to influence you. Keeping your car free of distractions and choosing to perform other tasks before or after your drive are keys to encouraging safer driving. While the aforementioned tips only cover a small number of issues in terms of distracted driving, they serve as a solid starting point for making your car a distraction free zone.

Drive Now, Text L8R – Debunking 5 Myths about Texting and Driving

German philosopher Friedrich Schiller once said, “It is easy to give advice from a port of safety.” How true is that? It’s always easier to tell what we would do in someone else’s situation than having to go through it ourselves – and that includes driving. How many times have we heard about a car accident and thought, that could have been avoided if….

Is Texting Too Popular?

This is especially true when it comes to teens and driving. Recently while out with my teenage sons, a radio advertisement sponsored by the Ad Council informed that it takes 5 seconds to read the average text message. Coincidentally, the announcer continued, it also takes 5 seconds to drive the length of a football field (100 yards) at the speed of 55 miles per hour.

Everyone who has a cellphone knows what texting is, even if they don’t make a habit of using the feature. Car and Driver magazine reported that texting went up from 9.8 billion in December of 2005 to an overwhelming 110.4 billion in December of 2008. The magazine also performed an experiment that compared texting and driving to drunk driving. Results showed that texting is far more dangerous.

No Age Limit on Bad Driving Habits

There’s no age limit on those who fall to the temptation to text and drive. If you guessed that the problem was limited to teen drivers, then you would be wrong. United States Senator Paul Bussman admitted in an article in the Cullman Times that his wakeup call to stop texting while driving came when he ran off the road and was heading for a ditch.

Fortunately the roads were dry and the Senator was able to avoid a collision. He now speaks to high school students in his home state to warn them on the dangers of texting and driving as part of a campaign titled “It Can Wait” sponsored by AT&T. And on August 1, 2012 when Alabama put a state law into effect making it illegal to text and drive, like others Bussmann stopped using his phone while in the car completely.

The Numbers Don’t Lie

Texting while driving causes three types of distractions. It requires that you take your hands off the wheel, your eyes off the road, and your mind of your driving. Here are some myths about texting busted using information from the official U.S. Government Website for Distracted Driving (www.distraction.gov).

  • MYTH #1 – It’s okay to use a headset instead of a cell phone. This is not true. You’re still distracted if you’re talking on the phone. And because cell phone signals can become fuzzy or drop, it’s even more distracting than talking to someone else riding in the car with you.
  • MYTH #2 – Texting won’t cause me to crash. The reality is that you’re 23 times more likely to crash while texting than when you drive free from other types of distractions.
  • MYTH #3 – Most teens don’t text and drive. While teens might not admit to texting and driving themselves, 40% of teenagers in America admit to being in a vehicle when the driver used a cellphone in such a way that put those in the vehicle at risk.
  • MYTH #4 – Distracted driving doesn’t cause a lot of accidents. In 2010, of all the vehicle crashes that occurred in America, nearly 20% of them listed distracted driving as the primary cause.
  • MYTH #5 – Texting can’t cause a serious accident. In just a single year’s time during 2010, more than 3,000 people died in crashes that involved distracted driving. And more than 400,000 reported being injured in a crash that involved distracted driving.

Seeking Atonement for Reckless Texting

Regardless of what the laws say, studies and facts have proven beyond the shadow of a doubt that texting and driving is one of the most dangerous forms of distracted driving. In some cases laws about texting and driving can actually hurt a legal case. A judge in Virginia dismissed a reckless driving charge where the driver was suspected of texting because the law reduces it to a minor traffic infraction.

If you’re in an accident and you suspect distracted driving is involved, then it’s time to get legal counsel involved. Whether you live in Syracuse or Sacramento, dui lawyer practices offering free consultations can answer your questions, relieve you of the stress of feeling like nobody is on your side, and represent you when it comes time to pursue compensation from the other party.

Freelance author Becky James-Muth lives has never traveled west of the Mississippi River, but that doesn’t stop her from using resources from across North America when researching facts for the articles she writes. She is often surprised at the sheer amount of knowledge available for her online. For instance, the website http://www.travisblacklaw.com both defines legal terms and explains what to do in case of an accident, which helped in her research for this series of articles. In her free time Becky enjoys knitting, watercolor painting, and hanging out with her family.