According to distraction.gov, the official government website for driving distractions, 3,154 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers (2013). Thus, if you’re like the majority, you may be guilty of driving while distracted yourself. Losing focus of the road can be incredibly dangerous. When operating a motor vehicle, don’t overlook these driving distractions.
Using a Cell Phone
Using a cell phone while behind the wheel is one of the most common distracted driving behavior that can cause a crash. A cell phone can be used for talking, texting, or emailing, all of which are prohibited by Washington State Code Sections 46.61.667 and 46.61.668.
The Washington State Department of Licensing notes that a driver who is texting on a cell phone while driving is as impaired as a driver with a blood alcohol concentration level of .16 percent which is twice the legal limit.
Whatever you want to call it – gawking, rubbernecking, being a looky-loo – staring at an accident scene is known to cause more accidents. Watching what’s happening out the window diverts attention from the road, and can lead to rear end crashes.
Using Handheld Devices
Cell phones are not the only device that can contribute to distracted driving consider these others.
All handheld devices should be turned off while operating a motor vehicle, and stored away in a place where the driver isn’t tempted to use them. GPS devices that speak to the driver and do not require constant distraction may be okay—however, in-car voice commands can also be distracting, according to AAA and researchers at the University of Utah.
Taking Care of Pets or Children
Pets, children, and other passengers in a vehicle can be distracting. However, focusing on safe operation of the car—rather than passengers and pets— is the most important thing that a driver can do. To help alleviate distractions, provide children with snacks, toys, books, or games, and make sure that pets are transported safely in carriers or with pet seatbelts.
What to Do After an Accident Caused by Distracted Driving
If a distracted driver hits you, you are entitled to compensation for your damages. You can file a claim with the driver’s insurance company, or call the offices of Max Meyers Law PLLC today to learn more about filing a lawsuit. Reach us at 425-399-7000 now.