Few of us are entirely innocent of distracted driving. We regularly talk to passengers, ruminate over a stressful situation at work, adjust the radio dial, or are tempted to text or talk on cell phones, all while cruising down the road. Most of the time, we’re lucky, and nothing bad happens. Sometimes, however, distracted driving destroys lives.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, driving a vehicle while texting is six times more dangerous than driving while intoxicated. In 2013, Washington State saw 120 fatalities involving distracted driving and 495 people were seriously injured by distracted drivers. That’s over 600 needlessly devastated families.

To avoid adding to these distracted driving statistics, know the basics of distracted driving:

Keep your eyes on the road
Even on deserted roads, conditions can change quickly, and you’ll never be able to adjust fast enough if you’re not watching. If there are any other cars around, your attention or inattention can mean the difference between taking that planned vacation next month or spending it in traction. If the radio is on the fritz, turn it off until you can pull over and find your station. If the kids are fighting in the back seat, pull over until everything is calm again (this is actually a rather effective technique to end arguments, too). If your phone buzzes with a text message, email, or Facebook alert, ignore it. If you’re expecting vital information, ask a passenger to play secretary or pull over before you check it out. If a french fry falls on the floor, you don’t want it anyway. Your makeup can wait for the parking lot. Keep your eyes on the road.

Follow the rules of the road
Signal before you turn or change lanes. Come to a full and complete stop at stop lights and stop signs. Look both ways. Yield the right of way. Proceed with caution. If your driving is predictable and safe, you’ll be able to help the drivers around you stay safe, too.

Because you cannot control those around you on the road, no amount of caution can guarantee that you’ll avoid every accident, When someone else’s distracted driving harms you and your family, the law firm of Duce Bastian Peterson can help you to receive full compensation. If you’ve been injured in Washington State, contact us for a free consultation.