You can sum up a typical day on a busy California highway as traffic-laden, chaotic, stressful and dangerous. Like it or not, however, most people (perhaps yourself included) must navigate such roadways in order to carry out the tasks and duties of their daily lives, such as traveling to and from work or shopping for groceries. You may be able to take an alternate route on a quieter back road on occasion; however, in some instances (such as unmarked crossroads) rural lanes can be risky as well.
The best thing you can do when driving in California or anywhere is to remain alert behind the wheel and adhere to all traffic and safety regulations. It’s also a good idea to know how to recognize a possible distracted driver when you see one. Distracted drivers are great menaces on the road as they often cause serious motor vehicle collisions. If a distracted driver hits you and you suffer injury, why should you bear the full impact of the expenses associated with the incident?
Major distractions that place you at risk for injury
You can’t do anything about another person’s driving choices. However, you may be able to avoid collision if you spot potential danger nearby and have enough time to safely and quickly react to avert disaster. Unfortunately, that’s not always possible. The following distractions are among those that police officers say are the top causes of collisions resulting in injuries or death:
- Reaching for things: Do you remember when you first learned to drive? Your instructor probably had to constantly remind you to keep both hands on the wheel. That’s because reaching for things inside your vehicle places you and other motorists in the vicinity at risk for collision. Modern technology has produced many electronic devices and systems that make navigation much easier and more convenient; however, reaching for a GPS apparatus or other device takes your hands and attention off the road, which may lead to tragedy.
- Daydreaming: Many law enforcement officers list this type of distraction as a number one cause of car accidents. The problem is you may not be able to recognize when another driver is lost in thought. When you’re driving, you can make continual effort to focus your thoughts on the road ahead and the cars around you. If another motorist is thinking about a date he or she had the night before or an argument with a spouse, the distraction increases the chance for collision.
- Drinking or eating behind the wheel: You might be one of many people who think it saves time (and money) to eat-on-the-go. This is a very bad idea if it means you’ll be trying to do these things while driving. Even a small splash of hot coffee or a drip of condiments from a sandwich is enough to cause you to suddenly divert your attention to your lap, thus placing you and all others in the area at risk for a crash.
- Using cell phones: Many states have enacted laws against using hand-held electronic devices while driving. Many drivers continue to do it anyway. Texting or even using speaker volume or headphones to conduct a business meeting or talk to friends or family members are major distractions that often have disastrous results.
If you witness a nearby motorist steering with his or her elbows while using thumbs to type a text message, it’s obvious that that person is highly distracted at the wheel. Other warning signsinclude cars drifting slightly left or right inside a lane, or veering over the yellow line, as well as vehicles traveling at speeds not consistent with current traffic flow.
Post-accident support available
Medical attention is of paramount importance if you suffer injury in a car accident. Many California accident victims also reach out for legal support when distracted drivers are deemed responsible for their injuries.