Not many decades ago, it was drunk driving that was the biggest concern when driving. However, in today’s day of technology, there is an even greater concern: the driver is most certainly impaired, but not by drugs or alcohol – instead, they are impaired because they are distracted by a number of technological devices.
A New Threat on the Road
While drunk driving has been cracked down on and the deaths due to drunk driving have steadily declined, a new threat has emerged in its place. Unlike drunk driving, alcohol isn’t involved, and it can affect drivers of all ages. Those hitting the road for the first time as well as those with decades of experience are all capable of becoming victims of this crime. Even if you are not the one being distracted while driving, you could still find yourself caught up in an accident with someone who is driving while distracted. That makes it very important to understand this threat and to take steps to avoid it.
- Never Drive and Text – This is probably the worst distracted driving activity. No matter how quick you are to text, even if it’s just a short message, you are still taking your eyes and attention off the road. Typing even a short message is similar to driving the length of a football field blindfolded, according to experts. So put your phone away while you’re driving.
- Give Your Phone the Silent Treatment – Simply hearing your phone ring or vibrate can distract you. If the sound keeps repeating, it can be even more tempting to check your device. So, do yourself, your passengers, and everyone else on the road a favor by putting your phone on silent when you get behind the wheel.
- Put Your Phone in the Glove Box – If you think you may still succumb to the temptation of reaching for your cell phone when driving, place it inside your glove box. It will only take you a few seconds to retrieve it when you get to your destination and you can safely check your messages and calls without putting you and others around you at risk.
- Set Presets Before You Leave Your House – Get all of your settings in place for your GPS, radio, and the phone did before you pull out of your driveway. Messing with your GPS, radio, or another electronic device while behind the wheel puts everyone in danger.
- Understand Hands-Free Technology Limitations – While hands-free may sound like the perfect solution to protect you from distracted driving, it still has its limitations. While you may not be holding your phone while talking on a hands-free headset, your attention is still not going to be fully on the road. Paying close attention to your surroundings is particularly important if you are in heavy traffic or bad weather. Cut the call short and resume the call after you arrive at your destination.
Contact an Experienced Attorney
Even if you take all of the right steps to protect yourself from distracted driving, you cannot always protect yourself from others who carelessly drive distracted. If you have been injured in an accident by someone who was distracted while driving, contact the attorneys at David Aylor Law Offices today.
David Aylor is a Criminal Defense Attorney who practices in Charleston, Walterboro, and Myrtle Beach, SC. He graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law, and has been practicing law for 11 years. David Aylor believes in defending the accused. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.