5 Tips to Avoid Distracted Driving in Louisiana
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), more than 700 people are injured every day in distracted driving car accidents. Since April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, now is a great time to evaluate your own driving habits. Do your part in distracted driving prevention with these helpful tips from the personal injury lawyers at Mike Brandner Injury Attorneys.
What Is Distracted Driving?
Almost everyone is guilty of distracted driving from time to time, even if we don’t realize it. Furthermore, we are all susceptible to a wide array of distractions that can endanger us, our passengers, and others on the road.
Distracted driving encompasses three principal kinds of distractions:
Anything that causes you to look away from the road
Anything that causes your mind to wander
Anything that causes you to remove your hands from the wheel
Distractions such as cell phones can be incredibly dangerous because they incorporate visual, cognitive, and manual distractions. A 2018 study conducted by the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission found that on average, 31.3% of drivers engaged in secondary tasks while driving such as manipulating their cell phones, grooming, eating, or smoking. These kinds of distractions are so commonplace, many don’t even view them as distractions.
Distracted Driving Prevention in Louisiana
Breaking bad driving habits isn’t always easy. If you’re prone to zoning out, peeking at your phone at red lights, or are always eating on the run, it can be difficult to retrain your brain.
Louisiana has some of the toughest distracted driving laws on the books to dissuade motorists from engaging in these behaviors. Even a first violation carries a $500 fine. Break the law a second time and you’re looking at $1,000 in fines and a 60-day license suspension.
If that’s not enough to keep you focused on the road, check out these distracted driving prevention tips to help keep you and your family safe.
Prepare for your drive before it starts. If you know where you’re going, plan an alternate route in case there are traffic delays such as construction or lane closures. If you elect to use GPS, enter your destination before you turn on the car and preview your route so you know what to expect.
If you struggle to get out the door on time and often end up getting ready or eating during your commute, it’s time to start getting ready earlier. Easier said than done, of course, but you’d be surprised how much less stressful your drive to work is when you’re not trying to use the rear view mirror to put on mascara or shave your face.
Minimize Your Reliance on Technology
Many of us are so used to using technology every day that we forget we don’t always need it to get around. Minimize your use of GPS when possible. Focusing on how to get to your destination by memory may also help you remain focused on the road instead of daydreaming while your GPS does all the work.
If someone calls or texts while you’re driving and you think it may be urgent, pull over to a safe stopping place before returning the call or text. Better yet, wait until you reach your destination.
Utilize Hands-Free Features
For those times when you absolutely can’t avoid using your phone, it is helpful to know the hands-free features your phone may be equipped with. Learn how to use these features before you get behind the wheel. Although even a hands-free phone call can be a major distraction, hands-free features can be incredibly useful in an emergency.
Phone mounts are incredibly useful for people who rely on GPS to get around, such as rideshare drivers. Keeping your phone at windshield level also means you’re spending less time looking away from the road.
Avoid Distracting Passengers
Most people don’t realize that passengers can be a major source of distracted driving behaviors. A good passenger can help you navigate, DJ, and even give you a break from driving during long road trips.
Bad passengers, on the other hand, can prove to be a dangerous distraction. Don’t be afraid to let your passengers know they’re being distracting. If you’re driving with rowdy kids, pull over before you do any disciplining.
Talk To Your Friends and Family
Talk to your friends and family about the dangers of distracted driving. If you notice your loved ones texting or engaging in other risky behavior behind the wheel, let them know it makes you uncomfortable and express your safety concerns—for them and yourself. Reminding them about the fines for a distracted driving ticket doesn’t hurt, either!
Injured By a Distracted Driver?
In spite of the safest driving practices, accidents can still happen due to negligence and reckless driving in Louisiana. If you’ve been injured by a distracted driver, you need Mike Brandner Injury Attorneys. We will fight so those responsible are held accountable for their actions.
Our New Orleans personal injury attorneys offer free consultations for every client and take no fee unless you win. Furthermore, we’re not afraid to go to trial and fight for the outcome you deserve. Call one of the numbers below to schedule your free consultation with our car accident lawyers, chat with us online, or submit your case details using our secure contact form.
The information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.