Distracted driving is more than just looking away from the road. Common reasons drivers are distracted include cell phones, eating, drowsiness and virtually anything else that takes your focus from the road at any time. Distracted driving can lead to serious injury or even death in extreme situations. While you may not be able to control the actions of others, every driver must take responsibility for being fully engaged on the road.

1. Never drive drowsy

Studies show that in the United States, 37 percent of drivers have dozed off at some point while driving. You may think you can push through the final half hour to get to your destination, but this can be incredibly dangerous. If you are drowsy and fear you may fall asleep while driving, pull over and take a quick nap. You may be half an hour late, but at least you will arrive without accident or injury to yourself or those around you.

2. Avoid phone calls and texting

Cell phones are a huge problem when it comes to distracted driving, but it’s not just about looking at your phone instead of at the road. Another problem with cell phones is that drivers get caught up in emotional conversations or intense discussions on the phone, and the entire focus is no longer on the road. In some states, using cell phones while driving is illegal, and you could face a fine or worse if you cause an accident while driving distracted.

3. Secure pets and children

Drivers often attempt to care for children or pets once they are travelling, but this can seriously distract from the road. Secure all children and pets before you leave your home for your destination. If they require any attention, pull off the road before turning around to give it to them.

4. Limit passengers

It can be distracting to drive with too many passengers in the car, and this is particularly difficult for teenagers who aren’t quite used to driving. If you do have passengers in your car, ask them to help you focus on the road and watch for any obstacles that may pop up.

5. Map before you leave

GPS is a great thing, but if your attention is on your screen or device, it’s extremely difficult to focus on the road. If you know where you are going, get your directions before you leave the house.

As a general rule, if something takes your focus off the road for even a few seconds, it’s considered a distraction and should be avoided while driving. If you have been involved in an accident that was caused by the negligence of another driver, it may be beneficial to speak to an attorney.

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