Tips for Avoiding Distracted Driving During Family Road Trips

Tips for Avoiding Distracted Driving During Family Road Trips

We all know distracted driving is dangerous, and we even shake our heads when we see others texting, adding that last coat of mascara, or yelling at their kids in the backseat. Somehow though, we don’t seem to think we are driving distracted when doing these same things.

Distracted driving during family road trips can be especially dangerous. Long days on the road with so many family members there to distract the driver in all kinds of ways. Don’t forget the things you may see along the way on the side of the road. There are many examples of distracted driving that can be named, the key is avoiding them as much as possible so that you and your family finish off your road trip safe and sound with great memories made.

Distracted Driving Simplified

Although there are many ways to drive distracted, they all can be categorized under one of these three types of distracted driving:

  1. Manual Distractions – removing your hands from the wheel because of some type of distraction.
  2. Cognitive Distractions – taking your mind off the road and driving duties
  3. Visual Distractions – keeping your eyes off the road to look at anything other than what you need to be to drive safely.

It’s easy to think of all kinds of ways you have been distracted in the past in these three areas. Take a moment to think about something you can change in at least one of these distracted driving categories. If you don’t commit to change, consequences you don’t want to even think about could result. Read on to stay alert and prevent distracted driving accidents.

Crashes Involving Distracted Driving

Did you know that in 2020, 3,142 people died in collisions that involved distracted driving? That’s 8.6 people killed every day in the U.S. That might not sound like many to you, but if you think of losing 8 people closest to you, it all of a sudden becomes more real.

The sad part of these deaths and other injuries involving distracted driving is that they were all avoidable. If only someone had waited to make that phone call or send that text until they arrived at work, or if a mom pulled to the side of the road before turning around and disciplining her kids, lives could have been saved.

Think about the choices you make each day while you’re driving. Does something need to change with your behaviors? We all have a part to play in keeping the roads safe for us, our family members, and those we love. What are you doing to help?

Cellphone Laws

While not all distracted driving involves the use of cell phones, talking and texting on the phone continues to be one of the top causes of distracted driving crashes. How can you avoid using the cell phone while driving?

Do you know the laws regarding cell phone usage while driving where you live or are visiting? It’s important to know! Other than the safety factor, you don’t want to get a ticket just because you weren’t educated on the laws of the place you’re driving. While it may be legal to hold your phone and talk while driving where you live, you may be vacationing in a state where it is entirely illegal to do so at any time.

At the time of writing this article, 24 states (as well as Washington, D.C., and other U.S. territories) have completely banned handheld cell phone use while driving. Also, 48 states have banned texting altogether while driving.

While it has been found that drivers 16 to 24 years old are among those most likely to use their cellphone while on the road, all age groups are guilty of doing so. The good news – bringing attention to the dangers of distracted driving to all drivers is helping. More drivers are using hands-free options to keep both hands on the wheel. Shedding light on the topic of distracted driving is changing people’s actions, and it’s up to all of us to continue the movement.

Proactively Protecting Your Family

After learning of all the ways drivers can be distracted on the road and seeing the accident statistics for yourself, you’re most likely wondering how you can take steps towards protecting your family on your next road trip and anytime you’re driving down the road with your loved ones. The following are a few suggestions to help you get started:

  1. Take some time to establish ground rules for yourself and other drivers in your family. Make a choice to turn your phone on airplane mode while you’re driving. Make it clear that everyone in your car will wear their seatbelt while riding or driving.
  2. Talk to your young drivers and other family members about the dangers of driving drunk. Not only is it illegal, but extremely dangerous for you and other drivers.
  3. Remember you’re an example to those around you. If you text while driving, your teens will think it’s okay to do it themselves. Are you always eating while cruising down the road and regularly taking your hands off the road? Other drivers may take up the habit as well after watching you.
  4. Give yourself extra time to get where you need to go. When you’re in a hurry, you often find yourself multi-tasking while driving – not a great idea!

Are You the Victim of a Distracted Driving Accident?

If you find yourself in a situation where you have become the victim of a distracted driver’s poor choices, Gainsburgh, Benjamin, David, Meunier & Warshauer, L.L.C. can help. Advocating for you and your family so that you can be compensated for damages and injuries that you may have experienced is what we do best.

Don’t wait to call our team about your distracted driving case. We are ready to get started so you no longer have to bear the burden of a lawsuit on your own. Call (504) 522-2304 to schedule a free consultation today.