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How to prevent distracted driving

Even if you are personally committed to avoiding distracted driving, there's no denying the many temptations that creep into your vehicle when you get behind the wheel.

It's critical to have a strategy for preventing distracted driving, as it will give you something to lean on every time you take to the road.

Here are some of the many things you can do to protect yourself, as well as the many drivers and pedestrians you'll encounter:

  • Turn off your phone: Not only should you turn it off when driving, but place it far out of reach. This eliminates the temptation to answer a call, send a text, check your email or do anything else that will take your attention away from the road. You can even use an app to help make it easier.
  • Minimize the number of passengers in your vehicle: It's easier said than done, but try to keep this number as small as possible. The more passengers you have, the greater chance there is that one of them will distract you. If you're driving with people in your car, let them know you can't spend too much, if any, time conversing with them.
  • Don't eat and drink: Many people look at this as a way of saving time. For example, you visit a coffee shop on the way to work because you don't have time to prepare your favorite beverage at home. It's something many people do, but it also has the potential to cause an accident.
  • Focus on the task at hand: Daydreaming is a big problem, as it's easy for you to become lost in thought while driving. This is even more so the case when everything on the road is going as planned.

Even as you take these steps to prevent distracted driving, you'll find that others don't care to do the same. It's common to see another driver focusing on something besides the road, such as their cellphone or children in the backseat.

If a negligent driver causes an accident, move to the safest place you can find and then call 911. Taking these steps will enhance your safety and potentially position you to seek compensation for your injuries and other damages in the future.

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John McCabe wrote "The Investigation and Analysis of Personal Injury Cases" in the best-selling book Personal Injury Practice in North Carolina. This is the book that other lawyers follow in handling personal injury cases.

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