Texting Too Much?
People know the potential dangers of distracted driving accidents that are associated with texting and driving, yet still engage in this behavior. In this article, you’ll learn how these distracted driving tips can help keep you safe on the roads.
California’s Laws on Distracted Driving
Being distracted by a cellphone or focusing on items other than the road can lead to deadly accidents. California recognized the need to implement a distracted driving law that bans drivers from using handhold cellphones.
According to the Mountain Democrat, drivers should be aware of a new law effective July 1, 2021 that will add an additional penalty on a driver found in violation of California’s hands-free law. A point will be added to the driver’s record for every hands-free violation that happens when another similar violation has been added to the driver’s record in the past 36 months.
Unfortunately, the impact of distracted driving across California has led to significant consequences, including numerous traffic fatalities and serious injuries. California Vehicle Code 23123.5 states that a person cannot read, send, or write a text-based communication, unless the device has been specifically configured to allow hands-free and voice-operated tools.
Put Your Phone on Airplane Mode
To remove the temptation to pick up your phone while you’re in the car and driving, slide it into Airplane or Do Not Disturb mode. Make this a habit after you put your seatbelt on. You can always pull over to a safe spot if you need to make or receive a call.
If you model this behavior for your teen drivers, you can help set up positive habits while also breaking your own habit of being too tied to the phone.
Hands-free Technology Isn’t Foolproof: Skip it All Together
You probably already know that it’s dangerous to text or talk on the phone. People, however, can be lured into a false sense of security with the hands-free device.
One AAA study showed that after you make voice commands on a hands-free device, you are distracted from the road for at least 27 seconds before getting your focus back. This means that you could miss pedestrians, other vehicles, signs and dangerous areas. Staying off mobile devices completely is the best way to avoid accidents, even if you think that using hands free is relatively safe.
Listen to the Right Tunes
One study in Israel on teens found that adolescents who listened to music like soft rock, easy listening or light jazz had a 20% decrease in their miscalculations and errors while driving. Young drivers who played their preferred music at top volume, however, made more mistakes while maneuvering their vehicle.
Each of the drivers had to take six different trips classified as “challenging”. Two of the trips were with the teen’s own selections, two with background music to aid in driver safety, and two with no music. When the teens listened to their own music choices, they had an average of three deficient driving behaviors in at least one trip.
In a Bad Mood? Consider Taking RideShare or Public Transit Instead
Your mood can really influence your driving, and your emotions could make you more likely to drive distracted.
A Virginia Tech Transportation Institute study that looked at over 1600 crash events over a three year time period found that drivers who were noticeably angry, sad, or upset, increase their risk of an accident by nearly 10 times. This study determined that feeling blue or glum carried the most crash risk. This level of distraction might be emotional, but it can still have physical consequences in terms of injuries and fatalities.
Plan Out Your Rest Stops
If you’re getting tired and need to grab a cup of coffee, a rest stop is the perfect chance to do that.
By enjoying the journey and making plenty of rest stops to stretch your legs, you could even save your life. When plotting out a major road trip, make sure to accommodate for extra time to stop and smell the roses, so that you can return to your drive refreshed and refocused.
Put Your To Go Bag and Other Belongings in the Front Seat
Keeping your water bottles, sunglasses and cash in the front seat is actually safer than keeping them in the back seat. Reaching behind can make you up to nine times more likely to have a car accident. While this might seem like a momentary distraction, it could have important implications for losing control of your vehicle.
If you have already been injured in a distracted driving accident, you need the help of a trusted personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
What to Do If You’ve Been Hurt in an Accident
When you’re at the accident scene, you can’t always tell if the other party in an accident was driving distractedly but, an investigation after the fact might reveal it. The other party might have sent a text or been Facetiming live at the time of the crash. An accident investigation could reveal they weren’t paying attention and lost control of the car. In some cases, the other driver might admit to the officer on the scene they were using their phone.
If you were driving and following laws at the time of the accident but ended up with severe injuries like broken bones, fractures, burns, and more, this information could be used to file a personal injury claim against the responsible party. At Dunnion Law, we spring into action immediately after you’ve been hurt in a crash.
From accident investigations to assistance with filing your insurance claims, we’re here to help you put the pieces back together after your accident.