When heading down the road to the grocery store - a route you have taken a thousand times - are you tempted to entertain yourself on the way? Do you tap away a quick message to remind your spouse to pick up the kids from school?
For many drivers, distracted driving is easy to disregard with common excuses: nobody else was on the road, they only glanced at their phone for a moment or everybody else does it and they don't crash. However, these excuses are often not true. April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, which is a great time to reiterate how serious this issue is in Seattle.
Smart phones are a main cause of concern for public road safety, of course, but they aren't the only concern. Distractions can involve hands, eyes and mind. Anything that isn't a driving task could potentially distract a driver. This includes playing music, adjusting a GPS, putting on makeup, interacting with passengers, eating and even simple daydreaming. This makes enforcing attentive driving very difficult; it would be unreasonable to ban all of these kinds of tasks.
To celebrate the month, drivers should pay attention to their own habits in the car. Some people could have one consistent distraction, such as singing along to the radio or trying to break up fights between children in the back seat. If you find yourself repeatedly distracted by an action or item in the car, you can figure out a way to remove it. When riding in the car with someone else behind the wheel, passengers can also point out when the driver is distracted with something other than the road.
Because the possible distractions are so numerous, many drivers don't even notice that they fail to pay attention to the road. However, this is not a good excuse to cause a crash. Accidents can be destructive and expensive - and only the injured party who was least negligent may successfully sue for compensation.