Driving while distracted is one of the most dangerous things a driver can do. Not only are a person’s hands off the wheel, but their attention and eyes are focused somewhere besides the road around them.

These three factors – physical, cognitive and visual distraction – can increase a person’s chance of crashing considerably. Unfortunately, too many people fail to recognize the degree to which distraction can affect their driving, which means that it continues to be a factor in thousands of accidents every year. However, there are ways to avoid them.

Avoiding distractions yourself

Perhaps the best way to avoid a distracted driving accident is to not be a distracted driver. This means:

  • Putting your phone away
  • Entering a destination into a GPS before you start driving
  • Pulling over to eat or drink
  • Keeping the radio and other in-car noise to a reasonable level
  • Ensuring passengers, including children and pets, are properly restrained
  • Refraining from driving if you are very upset 
  • Performing any grooming or makeup application before or after you get in the car

Making these small allowances and adjustments to your driving behaviors makes you a safer, more attentive driver.

Avoiding other distracted drivers

Unfortunately, you cannot change the actions or decisions of other drivers. However, you can take steps to avoid getting in accidents with them.

When you are driving, keep an eye out for people around you who may be on their phones or otherwise distracted and steer clear of them. You can also:

  • Use caution when entering an intersection.
  • Leave plenty of space between your car and a car in front of you when you come to a stop.
  • Be a defensive driver around others who are drifting out of their lanes or braking erratically.
  • Use your horn to alert another driver to a dangerous situation they don’t seem to see.

These measures could help you avoid a collision with a distracted driver.

That said, there are still many drivers who drive while distracted, even though it is dangerous and in some cases, against the law in Alabama. Should you or a loved one get into a serious accident caused by distraction, it is crucial to seek medical attention. You can also consider taking legal action against the responsible driver to pursue compensation for your medical bills and other damages.