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It is not possible to control the actions of other drivers, but you can control your own actions when are behind the wheel. Every driver should be taking the necessary steps to reduce distractions while they are driving. A driving distraction is anything that pulls your attention away from the road, thus greatly increasing your chance of being involved in a serious car accident and potentially causing serious injuries to others. Aside from putting your cell phone away when you are behind the wheel, Hardee, Massey & Blodgett, LLP have provided you a few other suggestions to prevent from driving distracted.

Secure children and pets before driving

If you are driving with your children or pets, you need to make sure they are secured properly in the back seat before you pull out of the driveway. Children of specific ages should be in car seats, while your pets should be secured through a special seatbelt, leash or some type of crate or carrier depending if you have dogs or cats. Children and animals should be secure not only for their safety, but for your own, Rowdy passengers are also serious distractions when you are on long road trips. Again, if your children, pets, or passengers take your attention away from driving, they are a distraction.

Avoid driving when you are already tired

Driving when you are tired is similar to driving while you are impaired by drugs or alcohol. Your attentiveness and judgment will be compromised meaning you will have a more difficult time making good decisions if you are faced with a sudden or unforeseen event. You should always try to get a good night’s sleep before you head out on a road trip. If you are diving a long way and start to feel fatigued or sluggish while driving you should pull over and rest, consider getting a hotel room and spending the night. Do not rely on caffeine, such as coffee, sugar, or energy drinks to wake you up, these types of products can actually make your fatigue worse.

Avoid making music selections or changing temperatures while driving

Although good music is a must when driving, changing stations, or playing with your cell phone while the car is moving can be dangerous. Get your music set up before you leave, make sure you have the music you will need ready for the long trip. Also, if possible, set your temperature controls while you are parked so you don’t have to make adjustments while driving. These two things may seem minor, but the effects can be major if you take your eyes off the road for just one moment.

Avoid eating while driving

Eating while driving may also seem minor, but again it may have a major effect on your ability to safely drive your car. When you eat while driving, you take your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel and your mind becomes distracted when you need to be focusing on driving. We realize if you’re taking a long trip you may have to eat, but our suggestion is to either enjoy a break and a meal in a restaurant or, if you’ve packed something, consider stopping at a rest area.

The attorneys at Hardee, Massey & Blodgett encourage everyone to avoid distracted driving. However, if you have been injured in an accident caused by the negligence of someone who was driving distracted, we encourage you to call us. We are available 24/7 and our consultation is always free, 252-378-2525.

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