Texting while driving has been getting a great deal of attention especially among teens. Keeping your eyes on a tiny keyboard rather than the road in front of you is a disaster waiting to happen. Yet, texting is just one distraction in a long host of distractions that could lead to deadly consequences. There are no indications that hands-free phones are less risky than hand-held phones. Driving distractions have been around long before cell phones. The real issue is the distracted driver.
It is no secret that more and more technology is gradually becoming all too common in vehicles. Are these devices really helping motorists or driving them to more distractions? Have you ever wondered how many distracted drivers are on the roadway when you get in your vehicle, and are you joining them? What if a vehicle’s emergency flashers automatically went on every time a driver was distracted? Would they light the roadways like "rockets’ red glare?"
It seems what the manufacturer doesn’t put in the vehicle, the driver brings along for the ride. The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) is already expressing concerns. “There is a fine line between giving drivers the information they need and presenting them with devices that could draw attention away from the road,” noted IAM chief examiner Peter Rodger. “If it is not acceptable to read a novel while driving, how can it be acceptable to read a multimedia display?”
So, is the issue of driver distraction more a reflection of a driver’s behavior, or an overload of technology? With the arsenal of auto safety technology, it is more important now than ever to understand all the features of your car, where they are located, and how to use them. If you are not familiar with your vehicle’s features are they really helping to keep you safe?
Here are a few questions I urge you to ask yourself and be honest in your answers.
- Do you keep your eyes on the road or has your car become a mobile office and entertainment center?
- Are you more interested in your cell phone call than the road?
- Are you a driving deejay? Simple things like changing the radio can be a big distraction.
- Are you getting comfortable with the latest technology in your vehicle relying on warning signs if danger is present?
Safe driving is about focus pure and simple. Make a commitment to drive distraction-free. Start by removing one distraction per week. Which distraction will you avoid this week to become a safer driver?
Mark Bello has thirty-three years experience as a trial lawyer and twelve years as an underwriter and situational analyst in the lawsuit funding industry. He is the owner and founder of Lawsuit Financial Corporation which helps provide legal finance cash flow solutions and consulting when necessities of life litigation funding is needed by plaintiffs involved in pending, personal injury litigation. Bello is a Justice Pac member of the American Association for Justice, Sustaining and Justice Pac member of the Michigan Association for Justice, Business Associate of the Florida, Tennessee, and Colorado Associations for Justice, a member of the American Bar Association as well as their ABA Advisory Committee, the State Bar of Michigan and the Injury Board.
Attorney, certified civil mediator, and award-winning author of the Zachary Blake Betrayal Series. Mark Bello is also a member of the State Bar of Michigan, a sustaining member of the Michigan Association for Justice, and a member of the American Association for Justice.