Pay Attention While Driving. It’s Your Responsibility
Don’t drive distracted. It’s a lesson that’s hammered into us during driver’s ed, but it can be alarmingly easy to forget once you’ve grown past the stress of being a teenage driver. Each day, eight people are killed in auto accidents that involve distracted driving, and many more are injured.
Every driver on the road has a solemn responsibility to the cars around them, and driving while distracted is a dangerous disregard for it. Given the danger that distracted driving poses, we’d like to explore both common causes of distracted driving and things that drivers can do to minimize their risk.
Here are three common sources of distracted driving, along with ways that you can address them.
Children or Other Passengers
Having other people in your car can split your attention, especially if your passengers are children who don’t understand the dangers of distracted driving. While it’s impossible to account 100% for the behavior of other people in your car, there are always steps that you can take while driving to minimize your risks.
If you feel that distractions might be a problem during your drive, then make sure to communicate that before starting your car. Very few passenger distractions are malicious. After all, they’re in the car with you! However, it can be easy to get lost in a heated conversation or drawn into a particularly spirited front-seat karaoke session when the right song comes on. When that happens, don’t hesitate to interrupt the other passengers and firmly ask for the space that you need to focus on the road.
Keeping children from getting too distracting can be a little trickier. As anyone with kids can tell you, they tend to make a lot of noise when they get excited, and they can have trouble telling the difference between “fun conversations” and “annoying ones”. Don’t hesitate to implement a ‘quiet time’ rule in your car if you feel that it would be helpful. If you feel like your children will react negatively to being told to do something, consider making it a game instead.
While challenging them to games of “who can be the quietest?” might lose its novelty after a while, it can be helpful in minimizing distractions which can lower the odds of you getting involved in a distracted driving accident.
It’s no secret that cellphones are a big contributor to distracted driving. It’s estimated that one out of every four accidents is caused by texting and driving, amounting to almost 400,000 injuries every year. Beyond the risk posed by phone calls or texting,
Given that cell phone involvement in distracted driving car accidents is widely understood, one would hope that tech companies would take steps to mitigate the risk of distracted driving that their devices or apps pose. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.
A court case against Snapchat has been making headlines for this reason. This case involves the deaths of two teenagers who were driving at 120+ MPH when they lost control of their vehicle. At the time, they were using a Snapchat filter that shows speed in real time. If nothing else, this lawsuit shows how much the potential for phone use to become dangerous has widened in recent years, and it’s unlikely that the danger posed by these apps will de-escalate anytime soon. In the meantime, it’s the responsibility of every driver to keep their attention clear of the distractions posed by using their phones while driving.
Daydreaming (or Getting Lost in Thought)
Although cell phone usage accounts for a significant portion of all distracted driving accidents, it’s actually not the primary cause. A significant majority of car accidents are caused by drivers letting their minds wander enough that they can’t react to conditions on the road around them.
There’s not a single underlying cause in drivers getting lost in thought, but there is a commonality: getting complacent. After driving for long enough–especially without experiencing an auto accident–it can be easy to forget the responsibility that you assume when you get behind the wheel of a car. This risk is especially pronounced for commuting drivers, as driving along the same road over and over can make it easy to zone out and let muscle memory take over.
If you ever feel tempted to take your focus off the road while driving, remember the responsibility that you owe to other drivers–and the responsibility that they owe to you. After all, would you feel comfortable driving next to someone who isn’t paying attention? Would you want your child driving in front of someone who’s busy texting? By getting into your car, you’re agreeing to share the road responsibly, and it’s impossible to do that if you aren’t focused on it.
Colorado car accidents involving distracted drivers are serious. If you’re injured in one, you need legal representation on your side. That’s where McDivitt’s distracted driving accident lawyers make a difference.
Distracted Driving Accident Attorneys in Colorado
Our experienced distracted driving accident lawyers have been fighting on behalf of victims for almost 40 years. We believe that victims involved in auto accidents in Colorado deserve to be made whole after their lives are disrupted, and that’s why we fight tirelessly to secure the compensation that our clients deserve. With offices in Denver, Aurora, Colorado Springs, and Pueblo, there’s a reason why we’re Colorado’s most trusted personal injury law firm. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and see how McDivitt can make a difference in your case.