Distracted driving occurs when a person operating a vehicle focuses on other activities instead of staying focused on the road. There are many ways in which a driver can become distracted. Most people are well aware that texting, talking on a cellphone, or playing with the radio can lead to distracted driving accidents, but many are surprised to learn that passengers can be just as distracting.
Those who are injured in car accidents caused by a distracted driver may be able to recover lost wages, medical expenses, and other damages through the help of a car accident attorney. Let's take a moment to consider the dangers of distracted driving and interacting with passengers. Contact our Austin, TX car accident attorney, Luke Dow, for help.
How Are Passengers a Distraction?
Driving with passengers in the car is a necessary part of most people's daily lives. While many drivers are aware of common distractions, like talking on cellphones, texting, or using in-car touch screens, they may not think about the distractions associated with having passengers in the car.
Passengers can be a distraction to drivers in a number of ways. Here are some common ways interacting with passengers can lead to distracted driving:
- Talking with passengers: Simply talking can be a major distraction as it causes a driver to divide his or her attention between driving and making conversation.
- Parenting while driving: Parents with their children as passengers may be distracted by trying to referee their children's behavior or may have difficulty focusing due to a crying or upset child.
- Singing with passengers: Listening to music while driving can get drivers and their passengers in a singing mood. Drivers who decide to sing along with their passengers may begin to focus more on singing and having fun than paying attention to the road.
- Handing passengers objects: Handing passengers objects, whether it be food, a cellphone, tablet, purse, or other item, can cause a driver to take the hands off the wheel or eyes off the road, all of which pose a threat to driving safely.
Preventing Passenger-related Distracted Driving
Being aware of the risk passengers pose in distracting drivers is one of the first steps to preventing accidents caused by distracted driving. Drivers and passengers can take steps to prevent driver distraction and decrease the risk of accidents. Some ways to do this include:
- Keep conversation to a minimum, especially at intersections, while making uncontrolled left turns, or during times when drivers need to stay focused.
- Consider driving without the radio or music playing to prevent singing and dancing in the car with passengers.
- Provide children toys, games, a book, or other distractions to keep them occupied while driving.
- Pull over somewhere safe if you need to reach for something or hand a passenger an item.
Find out How Luke Dow Law Firm Help You
If you have been involved in an accident caused by another person's distracted driving, it's important to seek the help of an experienced car accident attorney. At Luke Dow Law Firm, we are committed to getting our clients the maximum compensation for injuries and other damages, whether that's by working with insurance companies or through a personal injury lawsuit. To learn more about your legal options, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with our law firm today.