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Summer Driving Distractions That Could Cause a Dangerous Crash

driver looking ahead at trafficWhile high gas prices may lead to more people flying to their vacation destination, many people will still be hitting the road this summer. While many people will safely reach their destination, others could end up in dangerous collisions that could lead to significant property damage and injury.

Many people you share the road with this summer will not be practicing safe driving. In fact, some will be distracted and not even paying attention to the road. AAA estimates say distracted driving is a factor in about 60 percent of the crashes that occur within 100 days of Memorial Day. These crashes cause hundreds of deaths.

Learn more about some of the most common summer driving distractions and how they could cause accidents for those on summer vacation or those heading to their vacation spot.

Even though fault for some of these crashes may seem clear and it seems like recovering full compensation should be a simple task, it often is not. That is why it is vital to seek immediate assistance from an experienced law firm like Schmidt Kramer.

Contact us today to schedule a free legal consultation. (717) 727-2669

Using a Smartphone or GPS Device to Get Directions

Drivers who are on vacation or are heading to their vacation destination are often unfamiliar with their surroundings. They often need directions to get where they are going, and they often use their smartphones or GPS devices to find out where to turn or what exit to get off on.

Looking away from the road to see a map or directions on your smartphone or GPS device is incredibly dangerous. Many drivers do not realize how far their cars travel in those few seconds when they take their eyes off the road.

An easy solution to this problem is to have a passenger give directions to the driver so the driver can keep his or her eyes on the road. Many times, there is no need to look at your smartphone screen or your dashboard because you will get vocal instructions from the app.

While distracted driving is dangerous, it can also be against the law in Pennsylvania. Under state law, drivers are prohibited from using a smartphone for texting, instant messaging, emailing or surfing the Internet. You can still use a GPS device that is physically or electronically integrated into your vehicle.

Passengers and Pets

Conversations with other passengers can also be distracting. For example, conversations/arguments with children can cause drivers to stop focusing on their driving. Even if you keep your eyes on the road, your mind may be focused elsewhere. This could potentially delay your reaction time and prevent you from quickly noticing potential hazards.

Drivers can also get distracted by pets. For example, your dog could start eating or chewing on something and you may get mentally distracted or even physically distracted by taking your hand off the steering wheel to correct your dog.

Make sure your pets are properly restrained and are not wandering around your vehicle. This is unsafe for you and unsafe for the pet. Make sure your pets cannot get into something that puts them in danger. There are harnesses for pets riding in cars or you could put your pet into a crate.

If you are traveling with your family or others, you could assign one of them to keep an eye on your pet. Even though your pet is harnessed or in a crate, another passenger can help keep the pet calm or provide food or water when necessary.

Making Phone Calls

Drivers could make phone calls for a variety of reasons:

  • Talking to employees or coworkers at their job
  • Talking to the people they are going to see
  • Calling hotels
  • Calling for other information about a place they are going, such as a theme park

Often, it is not necessary to make these calls and they can be put off until later. If it is necessary, pull over to make the call and get back on the road when it is over. If possible, have another passenger make the call for you. If you have pressing business at your job, have someone else drive so you can deal with it without trying to drive at the same time.

Looking for Road Signs or Your Destination

As you get closer to your destination, you may be trying to determine if you need to make a turn to get where you are going. You may also start looking for landmarks to help you identify where you are. These may be things older drivers do if they are not using technology to get directions or if they are going somewhere they have been before and do not need a lot of directions.

It is important to allow someone else to do this or use technology to provide directions so you will be much more likely to keep your eyes on the road.

Loose Cargo

Make sure the cargo in your vehicle is secure, this includes cargo and other stuff in the front seat or passenger seat. Make sure there is no risk of something falling onto the floor. Drivers often want to pick things up when they fall, and this takes your eyes and at least one hand off the steering wheel.

You can have another passenger pick up what fell. If a lot of things fall or cargo gets loose and is moving around your vehicle, pull over somewhere safe and get everything secured. Once that is done, it is safe to get back on the road.

Challenges of Building a Distracted Driving Case

There are many challenges that come with validating a distracted driving case, particularly one that occurs on a summer road trip. There is a lot of confusion after any accident, but there may be more confusion after a crash on a summer road trip.

Victims may have many questions:

  • Does my Pennsylvania insurance apply for a crash outside the state?
  • Is the claim different because I was in a rental car?
  • What state laws apply to the claim?

You do not need to deal with this confusion alone. Schmidt Kramer’s licensed attorneys are prepared to help you secure full compensation for damages. We have dealt with many car crash claims over multiple decades and have vast legal knowledge about the process of seeking compensation.

Were You Injured in a Crash? Contact Schmidt Kramer

With decades of experience and a proven track record of securing more than $100 million in compensation, Schmidt Kramer is committed to getting results for the injured throughout the state of Pennsylvania.

Our Harrisburg car accident attorneys handle cases on contingency, so there are no upfront costs with our services. There are also not costs for you while we work on your case.

Give us a call to learn more. We are here to help: (717) 727-2669.