The Act of Driving Can Be Distracting, Too

Distracted driving in ChicagoWhile most people think of cell phones as the main culprit for distraction behind the wheel, the act of driving can actually be a distraction in itself. There are multiple instruments and factors alike to pay attention to, to ensure a safe driving experience. Some drivers can lose focus and forget to keep their eyes on the roadway and hands on the steering wheel.

Seven ways that driving can be distracting in Chicago

There are relatively simple ways that driving can be distracting. Seven of the most common distractions that drivers experience include:

  1. Temperature controls: Temperature controls allow the driver or passengers to feel comfortable. Many drivers frequently adjust their temperature settings to feel cooler or warmer. While this may seem harmless, taking your hand or eyes off the roadways for even a few seconds can result in a horrific crash.
  2. Radio buttons: The radio gives drivers and passengers something entertaining to listen to while the vehicle is in motion. Just like temperature controls, taking the eyes off the road to change the radio station can quickly lead to a devastating collision.
  3. Adjusting or looking in mirrors: Mirrors on your vehicle are essential. You need these items to help you see whether you can safely make a turn, merge, or change lanes. From time to time, you may need to adjust your mirrors to ensure that you can clearly see everything around you. However, doing this while the vehicle is in motion can cause the driver to lose focus, veer into another lane, or even sideswipe a vehicle.

Even using mirrors can be an issue. Spending too much time looking in your mirrors while the car is in motion means less time with eyes on the road; this could result in a rear-end collision or even running over a pedestrian.

  1. Checking engine, tire pressure, or oil lights: Cars often alert drivers to any issues with the vehicle. For example, the vehicle most likely has a light that blinks to let you know if you need to check your engine, tire pressure, oil, or refuel. While beneficial for you to know this information, it can also become a distraction when unexpected. If you recently had the oil changed or a part fixed, you may also find yourself constantly looking at the light on the dashboard. As a result, you might fail to stop at a stop sign or stoplight.
  2. Windshield wipers: Since most people are still required to go to work, doctor appointments, or classes when it rains, windshield wipers are a necessity. While these products can help keep the windshield clear during inclement weather, they can also become a distraction. For example, if they make an obnoxious, squeaky noise or become stuck, a driver might pay more attention to the windshield than the road.
  3. Crashes and collisions: A driver will likely encounter accident scenes. This may tempt you to turn your head and stare, but it’s important to avoid this when behind the wheel of a powerful vehicle. If you’re busy looking at an accident while behind the wheel, you may miss an important sign or traffic signal, potentially causing an accident
  4. Objects, animals, and distractions: During your drive, you may notice various objects littering the highway, animals crossing the road, or other distractions. It can be tempting for a bored driver to be distracted by these things, which can lead to a catastrophic crash.

Tips for keeping your attention on the task at hand

To stay focused while driving, it’s important to remember the following:

  • Ensure that your mirrors, music, and temperature controls are set how you prefer before pulling out of your driveway.
  • If you know that you are picky about the music you like to listen to, create a specific playlist beforehand.
  • If anyone is in the vehicle with you, ask them to control the music and temperature. You can also ask them for information about accidents and vehicles driving behind or next to you.
  • Take your vehicle for mechanical check-ups regularly. This will reduce the odds of a blinking engine light, oil light, or tire pressure light while driving.
  • Clean your vehicle’s windshield often. This will help prevent squeaky and stuck windshield wipers.
  • Always keep your eyes on the roadway. While it may be difficult to avoid looking at other vehicles, objects, or even crashes on the roadside, losing concentration on the task at hand can have deadly consequences.

If you were involved in an accident with a distracted driver in Chicago, do not hesitate to contact a car accident lawyer from Gainsberg Accident and Injury Lawyers as soon as possible. Our team has spent more than 20 years fighting for the rights of our clients. If you need committed legal representation you can count on, call our office or submit a contact form today.