Distracted driving is an epidemic sweeping this nation. Unfortunately, distracted driving has been linked to 3,000 deaths and 387,000 injuries in vehicle crashes in 2011, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Because too many drivers are distracted at the wheel as they drive along Fruitville Road, Bee Ridge Road, U.S. 301 and other roadways around the Sarasota area, drivers need to be reminded that their distractions can cause auto accidents and injuries. While the cell phone is one of the easiest ways drivers become distracted while driving, there are other distractions drivers need to avoid behind the wheel—such as talking to passengers, grooming and eating and drinking.

Ten Tips to Help Avoid Distractions While Driving

To recognize Distracted Driving Awareness Month, AAA revealed its list of 10 tips to help drivers avoid distractions while driving, including:

  1. Place your entire attention and focus on the road by actively scanning the road and using your mirrors. Don’t let anything distract you from fully focusing on driving.
  2. Secure possessions and loose gear so that they don’t roll around in your car and distract you.
  3. Position your seat and mirrors before getting on the road, and set your route on your GPS system before stepping on the gas.
  4. Complete your grooming at home. Don’t shave, brush your hair, or finish dressing on the road.
  5. Avoid eating meals and snacks while driving—especially messy meals—that can lead to spills.
  6. Secure all children and pets before starting your vehicle. Don’t reach in the backseat while you are driving, which can cause you to lose control of your car. Instead, pull off the road to give your children or pets the attention they need.
  7. Refrain from using your cell phone while driving—including hands-free and handheld phones. Never send or read emails or text messages from the driver’s seat.
  8. Enlist a passenger to help you focus on driving.
  9. If anything in your car or another activity commands your attention, pull off the road before focusing your attention on that activity.
  10. Take care of things before your trip so that you are able to give your full attention to driving and not be distracted behind the wheel.

Whether drivers participate in personal grooming, eating, drinking, using navigation systems, or using any electronic device while driving—they are participating in distracted driving and are more vulnerable to crashing.

In an effort to spread awareness and combat distracted driving in Florida, we encourage you to share these tips with your friends and family on Facebook.

Damian Mallard, Esq.
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Board Certified Sarasota Personal Injury Attorney
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