The automobile is the defining achievement of the modern age. Perhaps the only other invention to really connect the world the way the automobile has is the telephone. Both have completely changed how the world works, and yet oddly they don’t work too well together. Telephones in cars are no real new thing. Truck drivers have had CB radios for short range communications for years, and satellite phones were finding themselves in cars before smartphones came around. The only difference is CBs are a lot easier to use and the old satellite phones couldn’t log into Facebook.
Today, our smartphones are easy to access and make it much easier to get distracted. For some who have dominated the social media practice, they get notifications constantly on their phone. From Instagram likes to Facebook comments and random snaps from friends, there is always something happening on their phone. We become so used to staying connected that our first thought is to check and see what is going on in the social media world. We don’t stop to realize the 3 seconds it takes to look at your phone is all you need to get in a car wreck. If 3 seconds with your eyes off the road can cause a car accident, what can 10 seconds trying to text a friend do?
The answer is a lot. In 2015, there were over 3,000 fatalities because of distracted driving and 391,000 injuries caused by it. That is a lot of injuries and fatalities, and the numbers don’t stop there. You have to consider all the hours these put on law enforcement, medical personnel, firefighters, insurance companies, all because of a text message that for some reason just couldn’t wait. Now combine these numbers, that are typical every year, to really get a larger picture of what distracted driving costs.
Of course, there are times you have to pay attention to your phone. When you are driving with a GPS app, you need to know where to go. Two ways to do this safely is to turn the volume up on the phone and use the audio instructions when driving. They will warn you of upcoming turns a half mile in advance. Or, have a passenger manage the GPS while you drive, to better give you instructions on where to turn. Because even placing the phone on a mount that is in front of you will distract you. Your eyes will be on the phone studying the route instead of studying the road in front of you.
You can also use hands-free features to help reduce the chance of a distracted driving accident. Every smartphone released now comes with some form of a virtual assistant that can be voice activated. If you have an iPhone for example, simply say “Hey Siri, call Mom” and she will call the number listed under Mom. You can talk to her over speakerphone without ever having to touch your phone. A few other helpful voice commands common among different brands are:
“Navigate to -destination-”
“Play -song or artist name”
You can even send text messages with Siri. Simply say “Hi Siri, send (name) a text saying I’ll be late for dinner”. Siri will ask to confirm the message, and you simply have to say send. No taking your eyes off the road, not being distracted, just simply safe driving. Do this, and you reduce the chances of an accident dramatically. Take it a step further and take the advice of a New Smyrna Beach Automobile Accident Attorney at Rue & Ziffra and make your car a Text Free Zone!