Big trucks, motorcycles and passenger vehicles line New Jersey roadways daily, with many drivers texting, talking or engaging in other non-driving behavior. This makes it critical that the area in front of and around your car has your full attention.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving encompasses any activity that diverts your focus from driving. In 2018, nearly 3,000 people died in car accidents that involved distracted drivers.
Take a few minutes to prepare
The brain can process a limited amount of information simultaneously. Driving while multi-tasking pushes the boundaries of its processing power and can result in overcompensating to hazards and a slower response time to obstacles. Preparing for your commute before putting the car in gear takes only a few moments. It can help you avoid a crash by giving you a few precious seconds you may not have if driving distracted. Preparations can include the following:
- Securing children, pets and other passengers
- Setting the navigation and infotainment systems
- Putting on driving glasses or sunglasses
- Storing loose items
- Fastening your seatbelt
If you must communicate electronically and cannot pull to the side of the road and stop, make sure you complete the task via a hands-free option. State laws prohibit driving with a wireless device in your hand.
Focus on driving
Keeping both hands on the wheel and focusing on the traffic and obstacles around you can help you maintain control of your vehicle if the unexpected happens. Checking blind spots, taking note of the cars changing lanes and following the road rules around construction sites makes you a responsible driver. If you sustained injuries in a wreck because of another driver’s negligence, you might have grounds for a claim.