The traffic rates tend to increase during the holiday season, as people travel to visit family members or spend the day shopping. When you add in the shorter days, the potential for inclement weather, and the many distractions that come with the season, the holidays can be a dangerous time to drive. Here are some tips to help keep you safe.
Distracted Driving Statistics in Pennsylvania
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation reports an estimate of over 14,000 accidents are the result of distracted driving each year. In 2018 alone, distracted driving was the cause of approximately 15.5% of accidents. The National Safety Council (NSC) has noticed an increase in the number of distracted driving car accidents year over year.
What is Distracted Driving?
Many people refer to distracted driving as driving while texting. While this is a form of distracted driving, it’s not the only one. There are three main types of distracted driving you should know about:
- Visual: Visual distractions take your focus off the road. This may include texting and driving, looking into the backseat, or talking to a passenger.
- Manual: Manual distractions include taking your hands off the wheel. It may be due to you reaching for your phone, texting, or reaching into the backseat to grab something.
- Cognitive: Cognitive distractions occur when you take your mind off driving. You may be focused on a project at work or thinking about the errands you need to complete.
Simply put, distracted driving is the behavior of doing something else that takes your attention and focus away from driving. Some forms of distracted driving may be easier to identify, like texting or talking on the phone. Other types, especially cognitive distractions may be harder to identify.
How to Avoid a Distracted Driving Accident This Holiday Season
The holidays can be hectic. Many people have a lot going on with holiday shopping and errands. You may be rushing from one place to another. You may have to navigate busy parking lots. Here are a few tips you can use to safely navigate the upcoming holiday season:
While it’s often easier said than done, it’s best to avoid all distractions when driving, especially during the holiday season. If you’re tempted to use your phone, try placing it in the glove box or backseat and turning the sound off, so you don’t respond to phone calls or text messages.
Avoid Driving Under the Influence
The holiday season can be filled with festive pirates. When you combine more than one risk, including distracted driving and driving under the influence, the risk increases significantly.
Use Hands-Free Settings
Many of today’s vehicles have built-in hands-free settings. Set these up ahead of time, as setting the controls or features on your vehicle can also be a distraction.
Know When to Pull Over
If you find that you’re easily distracted, it may be a good idea to pull over. If you need to make a phone call or eat a meal on your commute, take the time to find a safe location and pull over.
Contact a Pittsburgh Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Car Accident Case in Pennsylvania
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a car accident in Pennsylvania? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at The Law Office of Mark A. Smith represent clients injured because of an accident in Pittsburgh, Homestead, Erie, Greensburg, and throughout Pennsylvania. Call (412) 368-8398 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 355 Fifth Avenue, The Park Building, Suite 205, Pittsburgh, PA 15222.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.