Saying no to distractions behind the wheel

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported 3,166 deaths from distracted driving crashes in 2017. This alone goes to show that distracted driving is an epidemic in Ohio and across the U.S. To keep themselves from becoming a statistic, drivers should know that the number of potential distractions is great.

Distractions go beyond smartphones and navigation systems. Anything that takes drivers' attention from the road, even when drivers' eyes are not taken away from it, can be a distraction. Drivers should, of course, stay away from their phones even when these are hands-free devices. They should also minimize eating and drinking in the car and limit the number of passengers they take on if they are liable to get too caught up in conversations.

Another danger is drowsy driving, which impairs a driver's attention and can even result in memory lapses. Lack of sleep, shift work, sleep disorders and alcohol consumption can all contribute to drowsiness. If they must go on a long road trip, drivers are encouraged to drink a caffeinated beverage and take short naps on the side of the road.

Lastly, parents of teen drivers should take a zero-tolerance approach to distractions and try to set a good example. More than any other age group, teens see the highest car crash rates.

Those who allow themselves to be distracted on the road and cause a crash as a result may have to face a personal injury claim, or their auto insurance company will. Victims, for their part, may want to hire Columbus, Ohio, auto accident injuries compensation attorneys for assistance with their case. Attorneys may be helpful when it comes time to negotiate for a settlement with the insurance company. They might also hire investigators to prove the defendant's negligence.

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