Do you find yourself on the road during the morning and evening rush hour periods? If so, you know that sitting in traffic is a way of life. You also know that some drivers don't pay attention to what is happening around them, which can lead to distracted and aggressive driving and an increased likelihood of an accident.
As a commuter, you're at risk of being involved in an accident with a distracted driver. During rush hour, many people look to keep themselves occupied. Drivers sitting in stop-and-go traffic may decide to kill time by checking their email, returning phone calls or reading social media feeds.
You can't control other drivers
The worst thing about a distracted driving accident is you can't typically do anything to stop it from happening. Yes, you can make sure you're always paying attention to the road, but there's no stopping another driver if he or she chooses to become distracted.
Fortunately, you do have control over yourself. This means you can make decisions that improve your safety, such as avoiding the following types of distracted driving:
- Visual distraction: This entails anything that takes your eyes off the road. An example would be turning around to check on a child while you're driving down the highway.
- Cognitive distraction: As the name implies, a cognitive distraction takes your mind off of driving. This can include everything from talking to other passengers to listening to the radio.
- Manual distraction: There is never a good time to take one or both hands off the wheel. If you do, you're increasing the chance of causing an accident. Drivers often do this to answer the phone, send a text message or adjust a GPS system.
What to do if you are involved in an accident
Every type of distracted driving is serious because it only takes one mistake to cause an accident that can harm you and other people forever. If you find yourself involved in an accident as you commute to or from the office, do the following:
- Move your car to safety.
- Call for an ambulance.
- Receive medical treatment for every injury you've suffered.
Once you do these things, you can then learn more about your legal rights. You may be able to file a lawsuit seeking compensation from the distracted driver who caused the accident. Talk to an experienced attorney if you have questions.