Would You Drive Drunk? Then Don’t Drive Distracted!

Let’s talk about distracted driving.

Chances are high that you’ve done it without realizing it. Have you ever been driving on I-270 and glanced down at your buzzing phone? Paid more attention to your GPS than the road ahead of you? Turned around to settle an argument between the kids? Taken advantage of a lull in traffic speed to check your makeup in the rearview mirror?

These are all examples of distracted driving because they take your attention away from the road long enough to pose a major threat to your safety—as well as the safety of your passengers and other motorists. All it takes is a moment of diverted attention to set the stage for a collision or worse.

There are three primary types of distracted driving.

 

  • Manual: Your hands leave the wheel. This can happen if you move to catch a travel mug that is starting to tip over.
  • Visual: Your eyes leave the road. Texting and driving and regular GPS checks are both examples of visual distraction.
  • Cognitive: Your mind wanders from the task of driving. Daydreaming, fatigue, and illness can all contribute to cognitive distraction.

 

Nationally, distracted driving is a factor in one out of four crashes. In 2010, more than 3,000 people were killed in crashes involving distracted driving, and close to half a million were seriously injured. That same year, approximately 18% of collisions in Maryland were distraction-related. Despite these worrying statistics, 40% of American teenagers have admitted that they have traveled in a car driven by a texting driver.

Keep yourself and your passengers safe by keeping your hands on the wheel and both eyes and attention on the road at all times. Here some tips and strategies for avoiding dangerous distractions:

  • If you need to make a call or accept an incoming one, pull off the road and park in a safe area. If this is not possible, ask a passenger to handle the call for you.
  • Avoid intense or emotional conversations while driving.
  • To avoid constant GPS checks, enable voice directions on your unit or review a map before you head out.
  • Avoid eating and drinking while driving, as spilled food and beverages are a leading cause of distraction.
  • If your children are arguing in the back seat, pull over safely to settle the issue.
  • If you are ill or tired, do not drive, even if it means calling in sick to work or rescheduling important plans. If you simply must go, take a taxi or let someone else drive.

In Maryland, all drivers are prohibited from using a text messaging device such as a smartphone or tablet to read, write, or send messages while operating a moving vehicle, unless it is to contact 911. Unfortunately, people frequently risk a $500 fine and a misdemeanor charge to send messages that could have waited until it was safer to send them.

We Welcome You to Contact Us!

If you or a loved one have been hurt because another driver was distracted at the wheel, let us guide you the answers you need to hold that party accountable. You’ve been through enough without having to deal with resistant insurance companies that care more about their bottom line than giving you the compensation you need to pay medical bills, cover lost wages, and compensate you for pain and suffering. We’ve helped and supported other people in this situation, and would love the opportunity to do the same for you.

At the law office of Pérez Halpern, LLC, we are committed to taking action and protecting the rights of people who have been hurt by distracted drivers in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Contact us today, so we can get in your corner and give you the dedicated representation you deserve.

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