Distracted driving can come from multiple facets including texting, eating, grooming and even having your furry friend sit in your lap. Last month the N.C. General Assembly discussed a bill that would prohibit drivers from having a live animal on their lap. Yes, you read that correctly, a live animal on their lap! It turns out paws aren’t that great at grabbing the wheel. The bill was eventually withdrawn, but not without refueling the discussion to eliminate distracted driving.
In 2015, 21% of all the wrecks that happened in North Carolina were a result of distracted driving, and nearly 11% of those wrecks resulted in fatalities. Those are true hard facts and shouldn’t be ignored.
Being distracted doesn’t just start with Fluffy on your lap. There are plenty of ways to minimize the distractions prior to you popping your car in reverse and pulling out of the driveway.
1. Get Your Stuff Together!
Need a tissue? Need your sunglasses? Craving some gum? Spend an extra five minutes this week to organize your car by placing and knowing where you can access these items quickly without taking your eyes off the road.
2. You Are a Driver, Not a DJ
You are not in your high school rock band anymore and you aren’t “spinning” any beats. I know you might feel like the DJ of the century with the radio, satellite radio, Spotify, Apple Music, and Pandora right at your fingertips. That doesn’t mean you should fumble through all of these to find that “perfect song.” Prior to your drive, create a playlist or select your music choice and hit play.
3. Drop the Phone
A lot of safety organizations suggest you completely turn off your phone prior to driving to fully minimize the chances of being distracted. Fully turn off your phone? We can hear you laughing now! Don’t worry, we know that is not realistic for a lot of people. The best option is to simply not interact with your phone. If you have the itch and can’t resist picking up your phone, there are a lot of great apps that can help curb that crave. Here is a list from the DMV.
Nine deaths a day from distracted driving is way too much when knowing each of those is preventable. It’s easy to treat driving like an everyday task. Wake up and recognize the responsibility and tell Fluffy they are going to have to grab shotgun from now on. If you find yourself in an accident from distracted driving we are here to help. Please contact Thomas Bumgardner at (704) 870-4779 to better understand your rights.