The ability to multitask is considered an asset by most people. With busy home, work, and social lives, we get used to juggling several activities at once. While this can work to your advantage in many situations, attempting to multitask can prove extremely dangerous behind the wheel. During the month of April, local, state and federal officials are working to raise awareness of distracted driving and how it increases your car accident risks.
Know the Three Common Types of Distracted Driving
April is designated as National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. It calls attention to the dangers and how it could be putting you, your passengers, and others on the road at risk. It is important for drivers to be aware of anything that could impact your safety. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identifies three common types of driving distractions:
- Visual distractions, which cause you to take your eyes off the road. These include checking your appearance in your rear view mirror, watching other drivers or scenery you are passing by, or turning your head to talk to other passengers in your vehicle.
- Manual distractions, which cause you to take your hands off the wheel. This includes changing GPS or radio stations, juggling coffee and fast food, or reaching for items in your glove compartment.
- Cognitive distractions, which is anything that diverts your mind from the task of driving. Daydreaming, thinking about work, or activities with friends makes you less observant and less able to respond to unexpected situations.
Talking on cell phones, texting, sending emails, looking up information online, and checking social media statuses are all especially dangerous, as they involve all three types of driving distractions.
Reducing Distracted Driving Car Accident Risks In Portland
The Portland Police Bureau warns that distracted driving is one of the fastest growing safety issues on local roads. There are strict laws against using any kind of mobile communications device while behind the wheel. If you are caught, you can be facing fines ranging from $250 to $2,000, depending on whether you have any prior citations. In terms of other common driving distractions, drivers are encouraged to modify their own behavior in the following ways:
- Keep your hands on the wheel in the 10:00 and 2:00 position at all times;
- Pay close attention to what is going on all around you, particularly in heavy traffic or adverse weather conditions;
- Pull over to eat and change GPS or car radio settings during driving breaks;
- If you are traveling with children or pets, make sure they are properly secured and have what they need to stay occupied during your trip.
Let Us Help You Today
Distracted drivers put you and your passengers at risk. When accidents happen, the Johnston Law Firm P.C protects your rights in filing a claim. To get the professional legal representation you need, call (503) 546-3167 or contact our Portland car accident attorneys online and request a consultation today.