Distraction is a leading cause of accidents. While this problem has been slightly declining in recent years, it continues to cause a disturbing number of injuries and accidents.
According to the Maryland Department of Transportation, there are an average of 181 deaths resulting from distracted driving annually. Here are some important things that you need to know about one of the most dangerous hazards on the road.
Talking and texting on the phone is a common factor in accidents involving distraction. Statutory law prohibits the use of handheld devices while operating a vehicle. This legislation may have played a role in the decrease of accidents involving distraction since its enactment. Nevertheless, noncompliance with the cellphone ban is prevalent. In addition to refraining from using your phone when driving, you also need to be wary of other drivers in your proximity who appear to be on their phones and not paying attention.
Letting your mind wander while you’re driving can be more dangerous than you might think, and it can happen easily. When you’re thinking about other things instead of focusing on the road ahead, you could fail to observe hazards. Likewise, distraction could slow your reaction times and cost you whatever small window you may have to avoid an accident when another driver fails to follow traffic laws. Making a conscientious effort to stay attentive to what you’re doing and your surroundings can mitigate cognitive distraction risks.
Ultimately, good situational awareness and mindful driving habits can prevent serious accidents. When you get behind the wheel, staying vigilant about distractions will help you stay safe.