Watch Where You’re Going! Telaré Law Talks Distracted Driving

Unfortunately, distracted driving is becoming so normalized that many people do not even realize that they are doing it. This leads to more accidents around Kennewick and surrounding areas each year.

That’s why we want to talk to you today about some other types of distracted driving – and what you can do to help reduce your risk of a crash. If you are hit by a distracted driver, you can trust the Kennewick car accident lawyers of Telaré Law to fight for you! We know what distracted driving can do, and we’re ready to help at all times.

Seven tasks or activities that you may not realize are distracted driving

While most people are aware of the fact that texting, talking on the phone, eating and drinking, and even watching a video are forms of distracted driving, there are many other activities or tasks that you may be doing behind the wheel that you do not realize are actually distracting you. Here are seven of these tasks or activities:

  1. Playing with or watching your children: While it is natural for parents to watch their child through their mirrors or even look back frequently to check on them in the backseat, this can be a form of distracted driving. The reason for this is because it takes your eyes off the road for a few seconds or even minutes, putting you and other drivers and pedestrians at risk. Children also get cranky, restless, and frustrated about being in the car for a long period of time. When this happens, parents may have the idea to play with their children. They may sing songs with their child, make funny noises, play a game of “I Spy,” or even hold a doll or action figure up to make their child laugh. Even though this may take your child’s mind off the car ride, it can actually distract you from the roads, leading to a serious or even deadly accident.
  2. Daydreaming: When driving down a country back road or an old neighborhood, you may have more time to think, daydream, and reminisce about certain parts of your life. Although this may seem completely harmless, it can actually cause you to forget where you are, what you are doing, and miss important traffic signs. A few years ago, Erie Insurance released a study showing that daydreaming is the top reason for distracted driving accidents. Therefore, there should be more awareness around this issue as many people may not realize that reminiscing or even thinking about what they may have for dinner is a risk to everyone sharing the roads with them.
  3. Arguing with a spouse or family member: Another form of distracted driving that is less talked about is arguing with a spouse or family member. While you may think that you can get from point A to point B while going back and forth with your spouse about forgetting to show up to your important dinner outing, it can actually be very dangerous. Instead, you should wait until you have made it home or come to a complete stop to have this conversation. The reason for this is because during an argument, individuals’ emotions tend to run high, causing them to prioritize getting their feelings out and lose focus on other important tasks that they are doing, such as driving. This can also happen if you decide to drive after a bad day at work, learning about a death in your family, or even after receiving a call that your child is sick or injured. You should always take a few minutes to cool down and clear your mind before getting behind the wheel.
  4. Allowing your pet to roam around the vehicle or sit on your lap: Many pet owners love and treat their pets like children. This means that when they go somewhere, there is a good chance that their four-legged family member is going too. However, if you allow your pet to roam around the vehicle or sit on your lap while it is in drive, this can be a huge distraction. Instead, it is recommended that you place your pet in a kennel or purchase a pet restraining system for the car.
  5. Smoking a cigarette/vaping: A lot of people smoke or vape in their cars, especially when the weather turns chilly and they don’t want to stand outside. However, when you have to grab a lighter, light the cigarette, continuously put your ashes in an ashtray or flick them out the window, this is a type of distracted driving that takes your eyes off the road and your hands off the steering wheel. Using a vape pen or mod may not be quite as complicated, but those big clouds of vapor can obscure your vision if you don’t have a window open.
  6. Staring at your surroundings: During your daily commute, you may notice several things that are happening around you. For example, there may be a gorgeous sunrise, wildlife animals playing on the side of the road, or even a serious collision that you are curious about. As a result, many drivers may find themselves staring at their surroundings instead of concentrating on driving and the traffic around them. Unfortunately, this can cause issues with slowing down or stopping in time, leading to preventable wrecks.
  7. Swatting or smashing an insect: Almost every driver has encountered an insect while driving. Whether it is a hornet buzzing in your ear or a spider crawling on your arm, you may decide to swat or smash the insect, which is a normal instinct. However, if you panic and begin swerving or slamming on your brakes in the middle of a highway, this may lead to a traumatic and devastating accident quickly.

Tempted to read a text message or respond to an email while driving? Think twice

Even though most of this blog talks about unfamiliar causes of distracted driving, the most popular and well-known form of distracted driving is anything to do with cellular devices. This includes texting, talking on the phone, sending an email, scrolling on social media, watching videos, and more. We cannot end this blog without mentioning an interesting fact that you should remember when you are tempted to read a text message, respond to an email, or scroll social media while driving.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently pointed out that “sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. At 55 mph that’s like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.” This should be an eye-opener for anyone who gets behind the wheel and has the thought or urge to pick up their phone at any time. Every time you send a text message, reply to an email, or post on social media while driving, you are covering one or more football fields without ever looking at the road or your surroundings, which is terrifying to think about.

If you have recently been injured by a distracted driver in Kennewick, WA, you may be entitled to compensation. The distracted driver accident attorneys at Telaré Law will listen to your experience, review your claim, help you collect evidence, and demand that justice be served. Our team encourages you to call or contact us to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation at our Kennewick office today to begin finding out if you have a potential case and what legal options may be available to you. Our lawyers lend a helping hand to clients throughout the entire state of Washington.

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