The dangers of distracted driving are well documented. Although driver distraction can come from many sources, smartphones are notorious for taking people’s eyes off the road. Texting, in particular, has emerged as a driver activity akin to alcohol intoxication. For this reason, Nevada has banned drivers from using handheld devices since Jan. 1, 2012. Violating this rule or indulging in other distractions can amount to negligence. A car accident attorney in Las Vegas will likely check for evidence of distraction when trying to prove fault and collect compensation for a victim of distracted driving.

Avoiding Distractions Behind the Wheel Prevents Accidents
Distractions caused by mobile devices are a proven traffic hazard. This is why Nevada fines drivers for using handheld mobile devices because research strongly indicates that the activity causes accidents.

Studies show that drivers who text are six times more likely to have an accident than drivers who drink. Texting is more dangerous because it takes your eyes off the road for seconds at a time. The extreme inattention caused by texting reduces a driver’s reaction time in a way equivalent to having a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08%. Of course, texting and drunk driving are illegal, and provide a car accident lawyer with solid proof of driver negligence.

Another interesting fact about texting and driving is that women are more likely to commit the offense, which differs from men, who are more likely to be charged with DUIs.

To avoid these adverse outcomes, you should practice the following safety tips. You might agree that Las Vegas is a city with an above-average amount of distractions. With this in mind, use this advice to reduce your chance of getting hurt in a vehicle collision.

1. Focus on Driving
You can combat distraction by consciously telling yourself that you need to pay attention to traffic and road conditions. Daily worries or emergencies can easily take your mind away from the present moment. This can have a disastrous effect because you are not monitoring your speed or actively watching for traffic signals or signs. Although it can be challenging to do, you must set aside your heavy mental load and give your full attention to operating your vehicle.

2. Anticipate What Other Drivers Might Do

Thinking about what the other vehicles around you might do is a core tenet of defensive driving. To anticipate possible traffic activity, you will engage in a constant mental game of “what if.” Ask yourself:

  • What if that car doesn’t stop at the red light?
  • What if that car turns in front of me?
  • What if that car changes lanes without looking?

As you consider these scenarios, you can plan your escape route. You might slow down and wait an extra beat before moving through a green light or shift away from another driver’s blind spot.

3. Maintain a Safe Following Distance
The laws of physics dictate how quickly your vehicle can stop at different speeds and under different road conditions. Larger and heavier vehicles need more distance to stop than smaller vehicles. For this reason, tailgating is an exceptional way to get into an accident. If you follow the vehicle ahead of you too closely, you deny yourself the distance to stop when something unexpected happens. You also constrict your ability to monitor traffic up ahead for problems. Generally, an accident attorney in Las Vegas can argue that a driver who rear-ends a car acted negligently.

4. Stow Your Mobile Devices
The temptation to answer a call or text when driving is a strong force that most people find difficult to resist. A good trick to keep your hands off your mobile device is to put it out of reach, such as in a bag in the backseat. The act of stowing the phone before you drive will also remind you on your commitment to focus on the road.

5. Make Adjustments to the Car Before Driving
Get your vehicle the way you want it before driving. Do whatever you need to do, like adjusting your seat, choosing your music, or setting the GPS destination, at the start of your trip. If you try to do these things while in traffic, you will inevitably look away from traffic. You should also pack items like grocery bags securely so that they are not prone to tipping over and distracting you.

6. Don’t Eat
With so many drive-through restaurants in the world, eating while driving may seem like a normal thing to do. Unfortunately, multitasking in any capacity always reduces performance. Eating can be very distracting for a driver, and a blob of sauce falling into your lap and ruining your good slacks may upset you and forces you to look down.

7. No Personal Grooming
When pressed for time, people will comb their hair or apply makeup while driving. Like eating or texting, grooming is impossible while effectively monitoring traffic.

8. Secure Your Pet
Driving around with pets is a popular thing to do. Dogs especially love car rides because they can stay close to their people. Having your pet in the vehicle is not necessarily distracting, but if your pet jumps around the cabin or sits in your lap, you should consider using a pet carrier.

9. Ask Passengers Not to Distract You
Passengers, especially kids, can be a source of distraction even when you are trying to do everything right. If your passengers are singing, arguing, or bugging you, tell them to cease the distractions. No one wants to get into a wreck.

10. Pull Over to Attend to Distractions
Realistically, things can arise when you are on the road that requires your attention. You might need to take a phone call or eat a sandwich. The simple and safest solution is to find a spot to stop. Pulling into a parking lot or rest area might cost you a few minutes but save you the risk of an accident due to distracted driving. When you stop to respond to a text or fix your makeup, you can give your full attention to the task without worrying about causing a severe injury or suffering one.

Nevada Personal Injury Attorneys Investigate Distractions

A distracted driver might cross the center line and hit someone head-on or run a red light and T-bone a vehicle. Events like that can inflict serious and costly injuries. However, proving that a driver was distracted may require the efforts of a car accident attorney in Las Vegas. A subpoena could be necessary to access phone records and see if the device was in use at the time of the crash. For assistance pursuing the compensation you deserve, make an appointment with a car accident lawyer. Ask Moss Berg Injury Lawyers for a free consultation today.