If you frequently navigate Florida roadways, you no doubt have experienced heavy traffic, lengthy red lights and distracted drivers, all of which can quickly turn an uneventful road trip into a chaotic, stressful mess. Regarding the latter, it’s often impossible to know if a nearby driver is distracted. While you’re not responsible for another driver’s actions, it’s helpful to learn more about types of driving distractions because doing so can improve your chances of arriving safely to your destination.
Yours would be a rare case if you were able to say you have never been distracted for a single moment while driving. In fact, it’s easy to become distracted at the wheel. Have you ever glanced at a roadside billboard? Do you use a GPS? Have you ever changed the radio station? If so, you’ve experienced driving distraction. Every motorist is obligated to adhere to traffic laws, which is why it’s good to know what to do in the aftermath of a distracted driving collision that you didn’t cause.
Three main types of driving distractions
You’d have your work cut out if you were to try to list every possible driving distraction that exists. It’s helpful, however, to understand that there are three main types of distraction and a myriad of issues or behaviors that might fall into each category. The following list includes the three most common types of distraction that can place drivers and other travelers at risk for a collision:
- Visual distraction places you, your passengers, and any pedestrians or other travelers nearby at great risk for injury. Looking into your back seat, at a GPS device or anywhere other than your path of travel can cause visual distraction that increases the likelihood of a collision.
- Your hands should be on the steering wheel at all times when you drive. Manual distraction occurs when you remove your hands from the steering wheel, either to adjust radio knobs, light a cigarette, eat or drink behind the wheel, or to reach into a pocketbook or glove box.
- It’s most difficult to notice signs of cognitive distraction in another driver. This type of driving distraction occurs when a driver’s thoughts wander away from the task at hand.
Any number of issues may arise while you’re driving that tempt you to become distracted. Merely hearing one of your favorite songs on the radio or noticing a beautiful field of flowers by the side of the road is enough to distract you and cause a collision. A nearby driver rehashing the argument he or she had with a spouse the night before may create a distraction that winds up causing you severe injuries if a crash occurs.
Minimize your chances for a distracted driving collision
You can’t do anything about another Florida driver’s behavior on the road. You can, however, improve your own travel safety by keeping several things in mind to help reduce your chances of becoming distracted at the wheel. The following list includes numerous ideas you’ll want to remember every time you drive:
- No phone call is worth dying for. Never use your cellphone while driving.
- Hands-free devices still cause drivers to become distracted, so it’s best to use such devices only in case of emergency while driving.
- Do not allow a pet to sit in your lap while you’re driving.
- It might be safest to use the voice instruction feature on your GPS device rather than to keep looking at it to follow driving directions.
- Avoid the temptation to multi-task while driving. Eat or drink before you head out on the road, and schedule business meetings for times when you aren’t behind the wheel.
These and other ideas can at least help you improve your own travel safety as well as that of your passengers. If a distracted driver hits you and you suffer injuries, there’s no reason you should bear the full financial burden associated with the collision. Many Florida accident victims seek financial recovery for their losses in civil court.