Avoiding distracted driving

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, so today, the focus of our discussion will be this type of dangerous behind-the-wheel conduct. Sadly, there are a great many activities that drivers sometimes engage in when out on the roads that can distract them from driving, such as: using electronic devices, dealing with something happening in the back seat, reaching for objects, eating, drinking, engaging in personal grooming, adjusting the settings of various things in their vehicle and getting into in-depth conversations with passengers. Regardless of what causes a driver to become distracted, distracted driving can have a huge impact, as it can lead to injuries and, in severe circumstances, deaths.

There are many steps drivers can take to avoid becoming distracted when driving. Recently, AAA issued some tips regarding this topic.

Some of the tips involved things a driver can do before heading out onto the roads to reduce the chances that a potential distraction will arise while they are driving. Here are some of the things that AAA suggested that drivers do prior to taking to the roads: engage in all needed personal grooming, store all loose objects that are present in the vehicle, adjust all vehicle settings to the desired levels, properly secure all pets and child passengers, check traffic conditions and do a route check.

Other tips involved things that drivers can do while behind the wheel to avoid distractions. The most obvious one is to stay vigilant in keeping one's focus on driving. Another tip was to ask for a passenger's help in the effort to stay distraction-free when driving.

Now, occasionally, things come up that a driver needs to address in a prompt manner. If addressing such things would cause a driver to become distracted, what should the driver do? According to AAA, the course of action to take in such a situation is to find a safe place to pull the vehicle over, bring the vehicle to a stop and then address the issue once the vehicle is stopped.

One hopes that all Texas drivers will put a high priority on being attentive and distraction-free when out on the roads.

A person's life can change in an instant when a motorist that they are sharing the road with becomes distracted and gets in an accident with them. Distracted driving accident victims may be entitled to monetary relief to help them deal with such changes.

Source: WATE, "AAA recognizes distracted driving awareness month with safety tips," Drew Gardner, April 1, 2014

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