Distracted Driving is Still a Huge Problem
By Melissa Heinlein, Esq.
We have spoken in the past about how Minnesota tried to pass a "hands-free" cell phone bill that would prevent anyone who is operating a vehicle from accessing their phones or other electronic devices without the use of a "hands-free" adaptor such as Bluetooth. Even if this bill never passes through the Minnesota state legislature, it goes without saying that we should all remain diligent about avoiding being distracted while driving. Distracted driving not only puts yourself and passengers at risk, but also everyone around you. According to the National Safety Council, texting while driving has led to 1.6 million crashes each year.
Multitasking is the Core Problem
This all centers on multitasking; many of us feel like we need to be constantly connected on social media or maximizing our time in other ways. Almost everyone has a phone that they have a hard time keeping their hands or eyes off of, even while operating a motor vehicle. As you can imagine, this constant use creates a real distraction by making you look at anything other than what lies ahead.
Let's say you don't use your phone in the car-there are other ways that we distract ourselves through multitasking while driving. Eating, tuning the radio dial, trying to accommodate small children in the backseat, fiddling with your GPS, or reaching for something in your bag – we all find ourselves in situations sometimes where we are distracted to some degree.
Avoid Being Distracted
Of course, the easy solution here is to simply refrain from doing any of these tasks while you're driving. As an aside, you should always make sure your GPS is programmed correctly before you begin your commute – since texting while driving is illegal, a police officer may pull you over even if you think what you're doing is innocent enough. Nothing is so urgent that it is worth the risks of taking your eyes off the road while driving. If there is an emergency in your vehicle that must be attended to, be smart and pull over.
I am a parent of two small children and they are constantly trying to distract me while I am driving. Telling them no and making them wait until the vehicle is parked sets a good example for them, although it sure can be difficult sometimes. I am also an attorney and my phone is constantly reminding me to check my email. In the interest of safety (and sanity), I turn off the sound and put my phone away and out of reach while I am driving. You too can take steps to limit the temptation of checking your phone while driving. After all, don't you deserve a break from multi-tasking sometimes? There is nothing so important that it can't wait a few moments until your vehicle is stopped. Don't be a statistic! Stay safe.
If you or someone you know is injured in a car accident due to someone else's careless or distracted driving, be sure to reach out for a free consultation today. I am not afraid to fight big insurance companies to get you the compensation you deserve and I am personally invested in every one of my cases. At Lord + Heinlein, we are your powerful legal voice.