Collectively, as a society, we’ve made significant strides in terms of road safety. Decadal trends show that there are significantly fewer DUI related crashes every year than there were, say, 30 years ago.
We’re not driving DUI as much. That’s great. But we are certainly far more mentally distracted than we have ever been before. It’s a cliché to point out, but we need to do it: Distracted driving can be lethal.
It’s not just teens texting on cell phones that are the problem. Studies out of places like Virginia Tech and the University of Utah have found that drivers who chat on cell phone (even using hands free headsets!) are still far more dangerous than drivers who don’t use cell phones at all, possibly because the very act of talking on a cell phone directs attention beyond the car. (In other words, there’s a disembodiment effect, perhaps, when you talk to someone on a cell phone as opposed to when you talk to a passenger who’s physically next to you.)
Whatever the case—what can you do about distracted driving, personally?
In this post and a subsequent one, we’ll explore strategies to reduce distraction in your car. Whether you got hurt recently in a serious Arizona car accident—or you know someone who was injured or even killed—now is the time to adopt better driving hygiene.
- Pay attention to any “near misses” on the road.
Perhaps you found yourself slightly nodding off and hitting the “wake up” strip on the side of a freeway while making a long trip to Nevada. Or maybe you “always” forget to look left at a particular stop sign. Take note of these near misses. They presage way more serious problems! The more clearly you grasp your driving weaknesses, the easier it will be to create systems to defend against them.
- Make rules against obvious distractions for yourself, and stick to them with 100 percent compliance.
For instance, maybe you already avoid texting on your phone, but you sometimes find yourself fiddling with your phone at stoplights. Make a rule for yourself that says “I will not look at my phone while the car is on, no matter what.” And stick to it. Print out these rules, and memorize them. Seems like a lot of fuss and bother? Well, consider the consequences. What if this super mindful analysis reduces your risk of a serious crash over the next decade by 5%? Isn’t that worth it?
We’ll touch on related concepts in our follow up post. For now, if you have questions in the wake of a scary Arizona car accident, call us. We can help you obtain fair compensation for injuries or damages you suffered. Contact the Kelly Law Team today for a thorough, free case evaluation.