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Distracted driving accidents and how to prevent them

On Behalf of | Sep 23, 2022 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

There are a number of ways California residents can stay safer on the road. It’s commonly accepted that respecting the speed limit and driving only when sober are good practices. Unfortunately, too many drivers aren’t as aware of the dangers of driving while distracted. Studies are finding that distracted driving is a rising cause of motor vehicle accidents.

Distracted driving can feel normal if you’re distracted all the time. Cell phones are one of the obvious distractions causing the rise in motor vehicle accidents. Social media, video chatting, phone calls, texts, and watching television are all activities that drivers are regularly distracting themselves with while driving.

Reading that brief list can feel shocking, but while drivers are doing it, the activities feel normal. When your television show is playing, you may think you only looked away from the road for a few seconds. A car traveling at 60 miles per hour will go 88 feet per second, or 440 feet in five seconds. That’s plenty of space for another vehicle to stop suddenly or for an object to blow into the road and cause a dangerous motor vehicle accident.

Cell phones take a large share of the blame for distracting California’s drivers. They aren’t the only cause though. Common distractions while driving:

  • Changing the radio settings
  • The behavior of passengers
  • Being too tired to pay attention to the road
  • Eating or drinking
  • Searching for lost items in the car
  • Issues with GPS

Tips to better focus while driving

If you’ve become a distracted driver, don’t beat yourself up. Instead, work on implementing some new habits to become safer on the road and avoid the dangers of motor vehicle accidents.

Before you start the car:

  • Get your GPS system set up with the destination and adjust the volume
  • Choose your music and adjust the settings
  • Take a few moments to write down any distracting thoughts in a to-do app
  • Finish eating whatever food you have
  • Ask if your passengers have everything they need
  • Let your passengers know you are going to be driving now
  • Put your phone on the do not disturb setting, put the phone in the back seat of the car, or download a self-locking app

Drivers who minimize distractions before driving will have an easier time focusing.