Distracted Driving Awareness Month: 5 Ways to Prevent Distracted Driving
Many drivers may engage in some form of distracted driving without knowing they are engaging in risky behavior. For example, it is common to enjoy a beverage and fries on a long road trip or even eat breakfast on the way to work, but did you know that eating is a driver distraction and can and does lead to accidents? In recognition of Distracted Driving Awareness Month 2021 this April, Cullan & Cullan doctor-lawyers have curated a list of five tips every Kansas City driver can follow to reduce their risk of distracted driving.
Plan Ahead to Reduce Distractions
Planning ahead can help you take care of tasks before they become distractions. If you take a few minutes to preset your radio stations, you will only have to press a button to change the station instead of taking on the more distracting task of scanning the radio for stations you like. Likewise, adjusting your climate controls, taking care of personal grooming, and eating before you leave prevents all these activities from turning into driver distractions once you pull out of your driveway. The more you plan ahead, the better.
Don’t Text and Drive
Texting and driving is considered by many, including the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), to be the most dangerous and most common form of distracted driving. What’s more, per Missouri Revisor of Statutes § 304.820, drivers 21 years old and younger are prohibited from texting and driving. Prioritize your safety; don’t text and drive. If you have trouble refraining from texting when behind the wheel, you may find it helpful to silence your cell phone and put it somewhere out of reach.
Save Phone Calls for Later
Many people believe that talking on the phone and driving is safe, but it is a form of distracted driving. This includes phone calls made using hands-free technology, such as a Bluetooth device. Your eyes may be on the road, but your attention is on the call. Wait until you get to your destination to make a phone call, or if it is urgent, pull over and park in a safe location first.
Feeling Drowsy? Don’t Drive
Driving while drowsy, after a long day, or with very little sleep is something that many drivers have done at some point in their lives, but it is extremely dangerous. Even if you do not fall asleep behind the wheel, fatigue can prevent you from paying attention to the road. Take a rest before you drive or carpool with another person instead of driving while drowsy.
If Needed, Drive with a Co-Pilot
If you expect to be at risk of driving while distracted during a particular trip — for example, if you will be driving with a baby on board, to a new destination, or with a pet — ask a friend or family member to act as your co-pilot. They can take care of any distractions that may arise on your behalf, ensuring that you will both get to your destination safely.
When it comes to distracted driving, don’t take the risk. Our legal team at Cullan & Cullan encourages you to follow these prevention tips and share them with your friends, family, and acquaintances to promote safe driving throughout Kansas City.
About Cullan & Cullan
Cullan & Cullan is a Kansas City practice that takes a unique, client-focused approach to personal injury law. Our trial lawyers also hold medical degrees, meaning we are able to apply all the skills and knowledge behind our advanced degrees to litigating your claim. To date, we have won more than $350 million in compensation for our clients in Missouri, Kansas, and nationwide.
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