Despite Georgia statutes, distracted driving continues to rise. Although media attention focuses on texting anything that takes your attention away from your task constitutes a distraction.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of fatalities in U.S. accidents related to distracted driving rose nearly 10% between 2018 and 2019.
Prepare for departure
Your brain processes a limited amount of information simultaneously. Multitasking while driving can push that processing power too far. The result includes slower response time and overcompensating when reacting to hazards. Taking a few moments to prepare before putting the car in gear can help minimize distractions. Preparations may include the following:
- Securing passengers, such as children and pets
- Storing loose items
- Setting the navigation, climate control and entertainment systems
- Putting on driving glasses or sunglasses
- Fastening your seatbelt
Checking and repositioning the side and rearview mirrors can help minimize blind spots. This can ensure you can see the traffic behind you and give you nearly 360 degrees of the viewable area.
Focus on the road
Keeping both hands on the wheel and scanning the road ahead for hazards can help you maintain control of your vehicle. Periodically checking the mirrors and noting vehicles preparing to pass allows you to keep track of the traffic situation unfolding around you. Turn off the ringer or set your phone to “do not disturb,” and let passengers know you do not use your smartphone when driving.
Taking precautions makes you a responsible driver and helps you respond appropriately to road hazards. If you have injuries resulting from someone else’s negligence while driving, you may have grounds for a claim.