*Buzz Buzz Buzz* Your phone vibrates inside of your purse or pocket while you’re in the middle of driving through traffic. You, like other drivers, are tempted to check the text. One quick glance won’t hurt, right? Wrong!
Distracted driving – which can be anything that takes your attention from the road, not just chatting on the phone or glancing at a text, including eating, adjusting your radio, searching for a song on your playlist, talking with passengers, or trying to set up your GPS – leads to thousands of injuries and hundreds of death in South Carolina each year.
Yet, despite the number of people that get hurt or killed due to distracted driving, people are still doing it. The leading cause of these deaths and injuries? Distracted drivers on their phones. If you use your phone while driving, you’re not only endangering yourself, you’re also putting the lives of your passengers and other drivers on the line.
Why Do So Many People Text & Drive?
There are hundreds of reasons why people feel justified to text and drive. Many people trick themselves into thinking they’re capable of multi-tasking or they’re just so set in the habit of texting that it’s hard to take a break from it, even for just a few minutes while they’re on the road.
Nearly 26% of drivers live under the false belief that they can text and do at least one other activity (like driving). Unfortunately, the truth of the matter is that our brains just aren’t very good at multitasking. In fact, your brain doesn’t actually multitask, it just switches quickly from one task to another – leading you to believe that you can. Which, in all actuality, you can’t.
Don’t believe it? Think about the last time you tried to send a text while driving (hopefully you didn’t, but most of us have been guilty of doing it at least once in our modern lives). Chances are likely that it took you longer than normal to type out your entire message without error (longer if you found yourself fumbling and having to correct auto-correct). Not only did your ability to text become hindered, your driving ability also declined. You probably went a bit under or over your usual speed limit or possibly swerved a bit into a neighboring lane.
You wouldn’t drive with your eyes closed, would you? But that’s essentially what you’re doing whenever you take your eyes off of the road to focus on your phone. Even for just one second.
What About The Safe Drivers?
So you’re one of the minority that doesn’t text and drive… That’s great! Keep it up. But what about the other drivers, more importantly, the other distracted drivers on the road? The best thing you can do for yourself and your passengers is to remain focused. Put your phone away, set your GPS before you set out to your destination, adjust your radio before you back out of your driveway, and try to let your passengers know that you want to pay attention to the road.
Unfortunately, no matter how great of a driver you are, you are still at risk on the road. Other distracted drivers are likely textings, talking on the phone, or just not paying attention. Here are a few things to look out for from other drivers to determine if they’re distracted and pose a threat to you:
- Their car is swerving in and out of it’s lane
- The car isn’t keeping up with the flow of traffic. (Remaining stopped when the light turns green, riding the brakes, or randomly accelerating and slowing down.)
- The driver is constantly looking down at his/her lap or is holding their cell phone up to their ear
What to do if you’ve been injured by a distracted driver
Accidents happen, even when you do your best to stay safe. If you or a loved one was injured by a negligent driver, you can hold them responsible for their actions. The Clardy Law Firm and our team of experienced auto accident and personal injury attorneys are standing by. We’re here to help fight to get you compensation for your losses and damages. Contact us today to learn more about your options.