Distracted Driving: Focus on the Road Instead

distracteddrivingMany car accidents are often the result of distracted driving.  Activities such as eating, drinking, putting on make-up, using a cell phone, texting, or emailing can cause distracted driving.  Each of these activities falls under the three main types of distractions.

1. Visual Distractions

The first type is visual distractions.  This involves anything that causes drivers to take their eyes off of the road for any amount of time.

2. Manual Distractions

Manual distractions are the second type of distractions.  These activities make drivers take one or both of their hands off of the steering wheel. Texting, talking on the phone, putting on make-up, eating, drinking and adjusting the radio are just some of the actions that fall under the first two types of distractions.

3. Cognitive Distractions

The third form of distractions is cognitive distractions.  These distractions take the driver’s mind off of driving. This can include stress, family issues, a bad mood, or a phone call.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration sheds a light on distracted driving and the risk factors that come along with it through several statistics.  In 2013 – 3,154 people were killed in car accidents caused by distracted driving.  Although the number of fatalities decreased from 2012, the number of injuries increased.  In 2013, there were 424,000 injuries due to distracted driving, while in 2012 there were 421,000 people injured.  In terms of cell phone usage, about 660,000 drivers are using their phones at any given moment during the day.  Using a cellphone and other similar visual/manual distractions like eating or putting on makeup, can increase a driver’s risk of getting into a car accident by three times.  In 2011, 17% of car accidents involving injuries were reported to be distracted driving accidents.  These statistics show that drivers are often distracted, and those distractions lead to an increased risk of being injured in a car accident.

In order to prevent distracted driving, drivers should try to eliminate any distractions as much as possible.  Here are some suggestions to help avoid distracted driving:

  • Put on make-up and finish any grooming before heading out on the road.
  • Instead of eating while driving, try to eat any meals before or after the drive.
  • If possible, avoid using your cell phone in any way – calls, texts, and emails.
  • Adjust the radio before starting to drive, and avoid frequently adjusting it.
  • If dealing with cognitive distractions, try to focus only on the road while driving.
  • Keep your full attention on the road at all times.

Remember that distracted driving increases the risk of getting into a car accident, so try to eliminate any possible distractions before heading out on the road.

 

If you have been injured in a car accident, please visit www.caraccidenthelpnow.com or contact us at help@caraccidenthelpnow.com for a free consultation.

This is Why Speeding is a No-No

speedingcarCar accidents can be caused by a number of factors – speeding is one such factor. There are several reasons why people may speed. Maybe they were in a hurry because they thought they were going to be late to a meeting or an appointment. Sometimes a driver is just impatient and doesn’t want to be sitting in a car for any longer than he/she has to. A bad mood can also cause a person to speed because their anger comes out in their driving. Maybe the driver just likes to drive fast and does not think he/she will get caught. Many people may not see speeding as a big deal, however, it is against the law and can have serious consequences. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that in 2013 – 9,613 traffic fatalities in the United States were speeding related. The drivers involved in these accidents were mostly men between the ages of 15 and 24. The majority of these accidents took place on non-interstate roads, such as local roads and collector roads.

Speeding often leads to reckless driving, such as weaving in and out of traffic. Not only does this put the driver at risk of getting into a car accident, it also puts other drivers on the road at risk of being injured. Certain types of weather or times of day also increase the risk of getting into a car accident when speeding; rain can cause the roads to be slick making it hard for a speeding car to slow down or stop, fog can make it more difficult for drivers to see other drivers on the road, and speeding at nighttime when it is very dark out only increases the risk of causing an accident. It is important to follow the posted speed limit signs to ensure the utmost safety when driving. In order to avoid speeding remember the following:

  • The posted speed limits signs are there for your safety as well as the safety of other drivers.
  • Allow plenty of time to get to your destination, so you won’t feel the need to speed.
  • If you tend speed or drive recklessly when in a bad mood, try to calm yourself down before getting behind the wheel.
  • If other drivers are causing you to become impatient, try to relax and safely get around them.
  • Know that speeding puts your life, your passengers’ lives, and the lives of other drivers at risk.

Speeding is reckless and can lead to injury, so make sure to follow the posted speed limit signs to help ensure a safe arrival to any and all destinations.

If you have been injured in a car accident, please visit www.caraccidenthelpnow.com or contact us at help@caraccidenthelpnow.com for a free consultation.

Rainy Day Driving

rainydrivingDriving on a normal sunny day comes with the risk of getting into a car accident.  Add rain to the equation – driving only becomes more precarious. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2013 there were 570,000 accidents during rainy weather conditions.  Of these accidents, 158,000 were injury crashes and 2,130 were fatal crashes.  The U.S. Department of Transportation explains how forms of precipitation have roadway impacts, traffic flow impacts, and operational impacts with the following table:

As you can see rain clearly presents safety hazards to drivers. It also affects traffic, which may increase travel time leading to frustrated drivers. Rain creates extra dangers to both drivers and passengers. Not only are the wet, slick roads cause for concern but also other drivers, who may be anxious driving in the rain or reckless. In order to avoid a car accident while driving in rainy conditions, there are several tips to remember.

  • Make sure to check your tire treads from time to time to ensure that your tires are safe for driving in the rain.
  • Make sure your windshield wipers are working properly, and replace them if they leave streaks.
  • When driving in the rain, turn on your headlights. Not only does this help make the road more visible to you, but it also makes you more visible to other drivers.
  • Slow down during rainy weather conditions to help avoid hydroplaning or skidding.
  • Avoid using cruise control because if your car does hydroplane, you will not be able light your foot off the accelerating to reduce your speed.
  • Leave plenty of room between your car and the car ahead of you.
  • Stay calm in heavy down pours, and keep both hands on the wheel.
  • As always, wear your seat belt and focus your full attention on the road.

If you have been injured in a car accident, please visit www.caraccidenthelpnow.com or contact us at help@caraccidenthelpnow.com for a free consultation.

Is Whiplash a Pain in Your Neck?

whiplashA car accident may result in a number of injuries to both the driver and passengers. One common injury that occurs during car accidents is whiplash. Many times, however, people don’t realize they are dealing with the condition because the pain may take days or even weeks after the car accident to develop.

What is whiplash?

Whiplash most often occurs during a rear-end accident but can result in any type of car accident. The sudden jerking of the neck backward and forward affects the normal curve and can cause injury to the ligaments in the spine. The ligaments, which are the soft tissue that connect the bones in the neck and back, are overstretched and sometimes torn. The stretching and tearing of the ligaments is often the main cause of pain for the driver or passenger.

Do you have whiplash?

Each person has varying degrees of pain when dealing with whiplash and some people may experience few symptoms while others may experience many. The following are common symptoms resulting from whiplash:

  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Dizziness
  • Numbness or tingling sensations
  • Difficulty sleeping and focusing
  • Headaches
  • Muscular aches
  • Pain in arms or back
  • Muscle spasms

Whiplash has the potential to cause serious damage to your spine. It is important to stay alert on the road in an attempt to avoid a car accident that may result in this injury. If you are in a car accident, however, and are jolted backward and forward, remember that pain from whiplash may take time to develop, so it is beneficial to get examined as soon as possible.

If you have been injured in a car accident and are experiencing symptoms of whiplash, please visit www.caraccidenthelpnow.com or contact us at help@caraccidenthelpnow.com for a free consultation.