According to the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), distracted driving claimed over 3000 lives in 2019 on roads in the United States. Each day, 1000 people sustain injuries in accidents reportedly involving a distracted driver, per the NHTSA. Flora Templeton Stuart Accident Injury Lawyers have represented thousands of clients injured in car, truck, and motorcycle accidents by distracted drivers.
The cost of those injuries and fatalities can be significant. Even a single-vehicle crash can cost $15,000 or more, with fatal crash settlements running into hundreds of thousands of dollars. Ultimately, these costs are passed on to consumers in the form of higher insurance premiums, so what can you do to minimize your chances of becoming one of those statistics?
12 Easy Steps to Avoid Distracted Driving in Kentucky and Tennessee
- Make all the adjustments you need before hitting the road
- Plan your route before you leave
- Only use your cell phone for emergencies when driving
- Pull off the road at the first signs of tiredness
- Make sure pets and children are secured before starting your journey
- Avoid multitasking at the wheel
- Don’t eat messy foods on the go
- Enlist the cooperation of your passengers
- Keep all loose gear safely stored away
- Limit the number of passengers as well as activity in the vehicle
- Finish grooming and dressing before getting behind the wheel
- Pull off the road to deal with any calls or texts from work
1) Make all the adjustments you need before driving in Kentucky and Tennessee
Before heading on any journey in the car, always address the GPS and other vehicle systems while stationary. Adjust the seats and mirrors so you can see all areas of the road, blind spots notwithstanding. You should also tweak the sound system and climate control rather than trying to take care of those fiddly tasks while driving.
There’s one other key element of preparation you can take care of before hitting the road, and that involves planning your route.
2) Plan your route before you leave
If you try programming your car’s navigation system while driving, this is one of the most distracting things you can do. Your attention will be diverted, and your eyes taken off the road. Either ask a passenger to take care of GPS duty or take a moment to enter your destination before leaving home. Depending on the journey, it may also be worth checking the road conditions and travel conditions. This does not necessarily apply to short and routine trips across town.
3) Only use your cell phone for emergencies when driving
When you are driving, you should only use your cell phone for emergency purposes. Even then, it is normally advisable to pull over to the right shoulder before making a call. Hands-free devices are much safer, but you could still miss crucial audio or visual cues that might help you to avoid an accident. If you are always tempted to grab your phone at the wheel, switch it off or pop it in the glovebox.
In more and more jurisdictions, it is legally prohibited to have social conversations on cell phones while driving. You could be ticketed, fined, and distracted from driving while chatting. In Kentucky, actively holding and using your phone is illegal.
4) Pull off the road at the first signs of tiredness
If you start feeling drowsy while driving, pull off the road immediately. Being tired almost quadruples your risk of having an accident. Even if you are driving to a tight schedule, it’s not worth trying to get there a few minutes quicker by pushing through feelings of fatigue and then ending up in a collision after nodding off at the wheel.
5) Make sure pets and children are secured before starting your journey
In Kentucky, car seats for children are mandatory and seat belts are required for all ages. If you have pets and children in the car, always make sure they are securely in place before starting your journey.
Once you are on the road, pull off the road if your kids or animals need your attention. Trying to reach into the backseat is a recipe for disaster and could easily cause you to lose control of the vehicle.
6) Avoid multitasking at the wheel
Often, external distractions can intrude when you are driving. Rather than trying to handle other tasks at the wheel, instead pull off the road and stop your car in a safe spot. You can then efficiently take care of the job at hand before resuming your journey. Multitasking is an unwise strategy when you’re sat in front of a computer. Behind the wheel of a car, multitasking can be deadly.
7) Don’t eat while driving a car
If at all possible, avoid eating while driving. If you are compelled to snack on the go, sidestep any messy foods that could be challenging to manage while driving.
8) Request the cooperation of your passengers in the vehicle
Make sure your passengers are aware that you don’t want them crying out for your attention while you’re driving. If passengers overstep your boundaries, don’t feel bad about politely reminding them that you need to focus on driving above all else.
9) Keep all loose gear safely stored away
When you are heading on a car trip with possessions and equipment inside the car, make sure everything is secured so it doesn’t start rolling around the car. Reaching for objects while driving is one of the most common causes of distracted driving accidents in Bowling Green.
10) Limit the number of passengers as well as activity in the car or truck
You should always peg the number of passengers in your vehicle so the environment is safe and non-distracting. Also, regulate the amount of activity in the car while you are driving, especially important if you have kids in the car.
11) Finish grooming and dressing before getting behind the wheel
Resist the temptation to finish dressing and taking care of last-minute grooming on the go. This is one of the surest routes to a rear-end collision.
12) Pull off the road to deal with any calls or texts from work
Trying to field communication from your employer while driving is always liable to distract you. Pull off the road and deal with the work call or text safely and without risking distracted driving in Kentucky or Tennessee.
Our team of attorneys and experts in accidents in Kentucky and Tennessee are ready to travel to you if you have been hurt in a car, truck, or motorcycle accident by a distracted driver. Call us 24/7. No fee unless we can recover for you.