What are the Most Common Distractions While Driving?
Distracted driving is one of the most alarming and lethal impairments on America’s roads today, killing over 3,000 people annually. The core of the distracted driving epidemic is simple—unlike, say, drunk driving, just about any motorist can become a distracted driver, and in a wide variety of ways that might not even be thought of as traditional distracted driving. Knowing some of the most common distractions is key to not contributing to the problem, and can also help with recognizing distracted drivers on the road.
Cell phones are the most prominent distractions behind the wheel by far, and as such, have received the most legal attention in Arizona. Arizona enacts a strict “hands-off” law, which limits most cell phone activity:
- Holding or supporting a device with your body while driving is illegal—this includes the classic “shoulder tuck” for phones.
- Reading, writing, and sending messages of any kind while driving is illegal—the definition of ”message” includes text messages, social media feeds, videos, and other forms of visual communication.
As a notable exception, you may make and receive calls while driving, provided you do so with a completely hands-free device (such as an earpiece, wristlet, or car mount). Additionally, you may use your hands briefly to answer or end a call, but not to actually make one yourself/ dial a number.
Breaking this law will net guilty drivers a fine of anywhere from $75 to $250, depending on whether it’s their first violation or not.
Food and Drink
Although not explicitly illegal in Arizona, eating and drinking while driving take your hands, mind, and eyes off of the road in much the same way as texting. As tempting as it can be to grab a quick bite during a morning commute, always pull over before eating, or better still, wait until you reach your destination.
Passengers and Conversations
A phone call constituting a distraction seems like common sense, so why then do many people not associate passenger conversations with similar distractions? The things occurring in your car, whether they be pets, rowdy passengers, or pleasant conversations, can be as distracting as anything else. Children in the car can be especially distracting, as they might not know to remain quiet for everyone’s safety. You have a responsibility to cultivate a good driving environment, and you should expect your passengers to not interfere with your focus on the task at hand.
Just like a phone, other devices in the vehicle can be sources of dangerous distractions and should be handled responsibly. Try to use these systems only while parked:
- GPS navigation systems
- Radio/ stereo systems and music players
- Any other auxiliary system in the vehicle
Compensation for Arizona Distracted Driving Accidents
Distracted driving is a conscious choice, not an unfortunate circumstance, and as such, carries negligence and recklessness with it. If you’ve been hurt by a distracted driver, you deserve extensive compensation for the avoidable suffering you’ve experienced. We know what it’s like to go through a catastrophic accident, which is why we’re confident we can help—contact us today at (623) 877-3600 to talk to an experienced Arizona auto accident attorney, free of charge, and take the first step on the road to recovery.