When you think about dangerous driving habits, one of the topics that usually comes up is distracted driving. Most people think about eating in the vehicle or getting distracted by a text message.
The reality is that there are other distractions that could cause crashes, too. Those distractions may be outside the vehicle and are known as external distractions. Some common external distractions include:
- Vehicles pulled to the side of the road
- Flashing lights or signs
- Animals attempting to cross the road
- People or activities outside the vehicle
It’s important for drivers to know that outside distractions can be just as dangerous as those inside their vehicles. Even if they look away from the road for just a few seconds, that may be long enough to rear end another vehicle, leave the roadway or cross the center line.
How serious of a problem is distracted driving?
In 2018, approximately, 2,800 people died in distracted driving crashes. Another 400,000, it’s estimated, were injured in crashes when distractions took drivers’ attention away from the road.
Distracted driving causes serious collisions and can take lives. Fortunately, there are methods you can use to avoid it.
Avoiding distractions: 3 tips
To avoid distractions outside your vehicle, remember these tips.
- Don’t engage in sightseeing while behind the wheel. If there is something you want to look at, pull over to the side of the road safely before doing so.
- Stay focused on traffic in front of your vehicle. If there is a crash or there are emergency vehicles nearby, don’t focus on them. Instead, look ahead and make sure to keep a safe distance back from nearby traffic.
- Avoid driving while you’re tired. If you’re tired, you’re more likely to daydream or get distracted by outside stimuli. If you find yourself not paying attention to the road, pull over for a quick nap and to reassess if you can drive safely.
Distractions are dangerous and may end up causing crashes. If you are struck by someone who wasn’t paying attention to the road and suffer a personal injury, they may be liable for any injuries that you suffer.