The summer has brought us beach days, barbeques, quality time with our children and – car accidents? TrueMotion, a leading smartphone telematics platform, recently released data that shows drivers spend about 15 minutes on their phone during every hour they’re driving on the road in June, July and August.
Approximately nine people are killed every day as a result of distracted driving, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. So, how can we make it through the rest of the summer safely?
Though driver’s education courses and non-profit organizations work to alert teens about the dangers of texting and driving, a AAA poll in 2015 revealed that 35 percent of teen drivers admitted to texting and driving, despite knowing the dangers of it.
It may not always be safe to assume that other drivers will follow the rules of the road – especially during the summertime. Practice these defensive driving tips to stay safe this summer and beyond.
Leave an adequate cushion of space between you and the vehicle ahead while driving. Even if you are at a stop light, be sure that you are far enough back from the car in front of you to see the vehicle’s back wheels. While in motion, maintain at least a three- to four-second following distance from the car in front of you.
Limit Calls and Texts
Most cellphones are equipped with a setting that rejects text messages or calls you receive while driving. By either turning on this setting or using a smart phone application, your phone can automatically alert those who contact you that you are unable to use the phone.
Though some vehicles allow you take calls hands-free, talking on the phone while driving in any context can still be a distraction. To stay alert and focused on the road, you may also choose to turn your cell phone off during the ride.
Slowing your speed will significantly reduce your chances of a high-impact accident. Just be sure to stay above the speed limit minimums, keep up with the flow of traffic and avoid staying in the furthest left-hand lane.
Have an Escape Plan
Generally, the right lane is the slowest and safest to drive in. In this lane, you can usually pull off to the shoulder of the road to avoid an accident. When you are driving, always keep in mind a possible escape route you could take if trouble comes your way.
Turn Down the Noise
Noise in your vehicle, such as loud music, children or a chatty passenger can be distracting. You can limit these noisy distractions by turning down the music and providing children with headphones, a sketch pad or a book. If someone in the passenger seat is talking with you, make sure to keep your eyes on the road. If need be, remind the passenger that you need to stay focused on driving.
Get Away from Distracted Drivers
When another driver is distracted, it normally shows. If you spot a vehicle that is not staying in the lines or traveling very slowly, the driver may be distracted. While obeying the speed limit, take caution to safely pass these drivers. If you cannot pass, you may choose to let the car get ahead of you or take a different route.
These are just a few defensive driving tips that may help you stay alert on the road during this high-risk season. If you are involved in a car accident, consider speaking with an attorney from the law firm of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner. Our attorneys handle even the most complicated of distracted driving cases. Call us today at (713) 222-7211 for your free consultation.