In today’s world, we are constantly bombarded with stimuli. The constant stream of information makes it challenging to stay focused on the task at hand. Everything from social media to smartphone apps can easily sidetrack us and take our attention away from the road. Even something as simple as listening to music can be a serious threat to your safety when you’re driving. Unfortunately, most people are so accustomed to being distracted that they do it without even thinking about the consequences. According to statistics, approximately 94% of all road accidents in Chicago result from human error. Chicago lawyers are working rigorously to reduce the number of distracted driving accidents. You need to learn more about auto accidents in Chicago to know how you can avoid these common causes of accidents and to know what you should do following an accident.
Cell Phone Usage
Studies have shown that talking on a cell phone while driving impairs an individual’s reaction time and attention to the road by up to 20%. While there are laws in most states against texting and driving, many drivers still use their phones, and some don’t even realize that it is a problem. If you have to communicate when driving, it’s recommended that you use a hands-free device so that you can keep both hands on the wheel. Consider using voice commands, as this can help you to focus on the road while still performing the necessary actions.
Eating and Drinking
Many people eat or drink while driving, which can lead to significant distractions. Moreover, most beverages have the potential to cause accidents when spilled, so it’s best to avoid consuming any liquids while driving if you can. If you must eat, be sure to select foods that don’t spill easily and can be eaten with one hand. For drinks, select a beverage that does not require a spoon or another eating utensil. Most importantly, avoid eating during busy hours.
Other People in the Car
If you have passengers, be sure to address their needs before you get behind the wheel. Try to give them a set of consistent rules while you’re driving, such as asking them to refrain from loud conversations. Furthermore, ensure that each person has their seatbelt in place to keep them safe in the event of an accident. If you have small children in the car, be sure to restrain them in a child safety seat as required by law.
Exhaustion and Stress
If you are fatigued, you pose an increased risk of being in an accident. Driving while exhausted can lead to dangerous distractions, including failing to react to hazards in time. Moreover, stressed drivers tend to make rash decisions, which could end with dangerous or even fatal consequences. If you are feeling fatigued or stressed, try to find another driver or reschedule your trip. If need be, park your vehicle at a safe location and take a nap.
The roads are dangerous and can be even more so when you are distracted. Before you get behind the wheel, consider how you can reduce the risks that come with common distractions. With the right precautions and preparation, you can reduce the risk of being in an accident as a result of one of these common distractions.