According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it is estimated that 5,870 people were killed and 515,000 were injured in distracted driving-related car accidents during 2008. Tips to help avoid driver distraction can help reduce the significant danger distracted driving poses on our roadways. One important initial tip to remember is to turn cell phones to silent or turn them off when getting in the car to drive.

If a call is important, you can pull over to make or take it, ask passengers to help you make the call and can also send important callers a message that you will be driving and can call them at another time when it is safe to do so. Texting while driving is dangerous and illegal in most states. It is also important not to email or use the Internet while driving.

It is also important to review the route, any maps or directions and set and adjust a GPS device prior to departing and getting on the road. Additionally, it is useful to properly secure pets and children and, if either requires attention, pull over to a location along the roadway where it is safe to do so and address the concern. Drivers should not engage in any activity that removes their focus from the roadway, such as eating, drinking or reading. Distracted driving involves a number of common activities many drivers engage in and activities that are not safe while driving.

When victims are injured or otherwise harmed by a distracted driver it negatively impacts both them and their families. The legal process offers protections to victims and their families to help with the physical, financial and emotional harm and damages often associated with a distracted driver-related car accident.

Source: Mass.gov, “10 Tips for Managing Driver Distraction,” Accessed Jan. 30, 2017