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‘Tis the season to be distracted

The holiday season is here. With the rising prices in airline tickets and amount of drivers on the road, families should expect plenty of traffic to be in their way on their route to Grandma’s house. Many of the cars on the road will be filled with people too tired or drunk to be behind a steering wheel, but they are far from the only threat present.

The Washington Post recently put out an article highlighting the dramatic increase in distracted driving over the holidays. They cite statistics from driving apps that state that there could be around a 33 percent increase in distracted driving around Christmas and New Year’s. If you plan on traveling during the holidays, you need to be aware of these dangerous driving behaviors so you can look out for negligent motorists and avoid getting distracted yourself.

Sending updates

The article notes that one of the most common actions distracted drivers do around these times is to keep their loved ones updated on their progress. With how dangerous the roads can be around the holidays, it is understandable why you would want to text or call your spouse or relative to tell them where you are. Rather than wait to do it in a rural area or stoplight, take a break at a nearby gas station or rest stop. It can allow you to catch up with your loved ones while giving you the chance to move your legs, go to the bathroom and to grab a snack or drink.

Dull driving

If you have hours of visually uninteresting roads ahead of you, it can be difficult to keep your eyes looking forward for such a long period of time. The drive may go better if you have something or someone to listen to on your way to your destination. If you are going with someone, think of some conversation topics to bring up before you put the key in the ignition. If you are by yourself, bring some music or audio books to keep yourself awake without looking away. Just make sure you do not bring in any music that could potentially distract you or causes you to speed. The article notes that speeding is up 45 percent during the holidays, so cops have their eyes out.

Map mistakes

Many drivers will use navigational apps on their phones to guide them to where the holiday celebrations are. Depending on how the user sets it up, a GPS can be another form of distracted driving. Motorists must be careful on the phone’s position and volume near the front of their vehicle. They need to enable voice controls to prevent from looking at the phone as much as possible, but should place the phone higher so they can still keep their eyes on the road.

South Dakota has some of the weakest distracted driving laws in the nation. This can encourage many to spend time on their phones while they are behind the wheel as they are not as worried about severe punishment. However, if they injure you in the process, they are not immune from the consequences that can come with a personal injury lawsuit.

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