Tips for Staying Attentive Behind the WheelMississippi Legal News
Distracted driving is an epidemic all its own, sweeping the nation and claiming thousands of lives; as such, it’s easy to understand that you should avoid it, yet many people are distracted while driving nonetheless. But why is this? Understanding why distracted driving occurs can be a good place to start, but that only answers part of the real question; if basic lack of awareness and bravado are removed from the equation, how can you avoid distractions behind the wheel altogether? Certain distractions can seem inevitable, but in truth, you can avoid nearly every distraction behind the wheel with a few simple tips.
Remove Your Phone From the Equation
Texting and driving is a severe issue in Mississippi, despite being both illegal and a well-known contributor to thousands of lethal car accidents a year. Simply ignoring incoming messages can be difficult for some, and the thought of a potentially important text can be distracting even if you don’t read it; instead, take steps to make your phone inaccessible:
- Silence your phone altogether while driving.
- Put your phone somewhere you can’t access it, such as your glove box or trunk.
- Use a do-not-disturb setting or app to block non-urgent messages.
- Have a passenger hold on to or use your phone for you.
Make Preparations Ahead of Time
Staying attentive isn’t just something you do as you drive—it’s an endeavor you can and should prepare for with simple practices before even getting into your vehicle:
- Get enough sleep. One-third of all motorists have fallen asleep at the wheel at one point, but even if you don’t pass out, simply being exhausted has a severe, measurable effect on your driving. Get 6-8 hours of sleep per night; if you get tired while driving, pull over, and nap for at least an hour. If you don’t get enough sleep, you can fall asleep behind the wheel and cause a car accident.
- Know your route well, and only configure GPS systems while safely parked. Looking up directions as you travel or failing to prepare for roadway closures and construction zones can force you into a difficult situation where you’ll have to choose to either lose time pulling over or drive while extremely distracted.
- Have a meal before long drives, or make time to pull over and eat on the way. While eating and driving isn’t technically illegal, it is nonetheless extremely distracting, hazardous, and usually constitutes negligence. Deny yourself the temptation of fast food by planning around hunger in advance.
- If you like to listen to music, make sure to configure playlists or radio stations before starting to drive; alternatively, let a passenger DJ. Time spent changing songs or configuring devices is time not spent on the imminent task of keeping your vehicle in control and responding to sudden threats.
Talk to a Mississippi Auto Accident Attorney
Even with the best of intents, distractions can and do still impair many motorist’s abilities to drive, which frequently leads to catastrophic car accidents as a result of their inattention. If you’ve been involved in one such type of car accident in Mississippi, give our Jackson auto accident attorneys a call at (601) 401-6884. Germany Law Firm PLLC can not only take the general burden of the claims process off of your shoulders, but can also offer unique insights and resources, not the least of which is the ability to prove that distracted driving occurred and led to your injuries, financial losses, suffering, and other damages.