Distracted driving awareness month has passed, but there is never a bad time to review tips on avoiding distracted driving, as it is so dangerous.
Although the state of Maryland has laws against distracted driving, some drivers cannot resist the temptation to grab their cellphones and reply to an email or text message, send out a tweet or make a call. Drivers can also be distracted by GPS systems, eating, drinking or putting on makeup.
The Silver Spring car accident lawyers at Goldberg Finnegan provide tips on how you can avoid distracted driving below. You can also learn more about state laws on distracted driving.
Maryland Law on Distracted Driving
Cellphone use is the leading cause of distracted driving, according to the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration. Drivers in Maryland are prohibited from using handheld phones while driving, which includes reading, writing or sending electronic messages or texts. Drivers under the age of 18 cannot use a cellphone in any way, even in hands-free mode.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, reading or sending a text can cause you to take your eyes off the road for up to five seconds if you are going 55 mph. In that time, you could drive the length of a football field.
There are other forms of distracted driving not mentioned in this distracted driving law that can be just as dangerous, such as:
- Reading or adjusting a navigation system
- Eating and drinking
- Grooming/putting on makeup
- Talking to passengers
- Adjusting the radio
Distractions can be placed into four categories:
- Visual – These are distractions that cause you to take your eyes off the road.
- Auditory – These distractions cause you to listen to something that is not related to driving.
- Manual – These are distractions that cause you to take one or both hands off the steering wheel.
- Cognitive – This occurs when you think about something not related to driving.
Tips for Staying Focused on the Road
There are many practical steps you can take to avoid distracted driving:
- Do not use your cellphone unless you have an emergency – It is always better to make your calls before you drive or wait until you can pull over in a safe area. While using a hands-free device may help you stay focused on the road, it could still distract you, so you may want to avoid it.
- Eat before you drive – Eating and drinking while driving can cause you to spill food and take your eyes and concentration off driving.
- Pull over and rest if you are tired or sleepy – Driving while drowsy can cause you to be distracted because you are too tired to focus on the road. Reaction time can also be slower.
- Avoid having too many passengers – You could get distracted by a conversation, which could cause you to lose focus on the road.
- Do not multi-task while driving – Looking at your face in the mirror for grooming or putting on makeup does not allow you to properly focus on the road.
Reach Out to an Attorney Today to Schedule a Free Claim Review
If you were injured in a car accident by a distracted driver, you could be eligible for compensation to cover medical expenses, lost wages and other damages. Having a qualified attorney on your side could be in your best interest.
The experienced attorneys at Goldberg Finnegan are available to answer any questions you may have in a complimentary consultation. We charge zero upfront costs and there is no obligation to hire our firm. We do not bill you unless we recover compensation for your claim.