No matter how long your daily commute lasts, you probably find yourself wishing you could get through it more quickly. Whether you spend an hour or 20 minutes getting to work each morning, the time you spend traveling to your job can feel like wasted minutes. You may get bored with the same scenery and route, which opens the door to distraction.
Some people try to battle that sense of lost time or boredom by multitasking at the wheel. They may do things like apply their makeup, eat their breakfast or handle some tasks they know need to be addressed. That might mean calling their boss, a client or a loved one.
Unfortunately, even if you use a hands-free device such as a Bluetooth system or the ability to dial directly from your car's console, you endanger yourself and others by engaging in a conversation while driving. The conversation will be a distraction that will reduce your safety at the wheel.
Federal statistics make it clear that driving should be your main focus
Life seems to demand that you do many things at once to fit everything necessary into your days. Multitasking may seem like the only solution to having more obligations than time, but when you do many things at once, none of them receive your full attention. Your response time is slower than someone who is at the legal limit for alcohol in their blood when you are on the phone.
That can be bad enough when juggling client contracts and staff emails, but when it comes to your safety, attempting to multitask is a risk that isn't worth taking. Turn off your ringer when you drive to avoid the compulsion to answer your phone and handle any calls before you get in the vehicle.
If you have to take or make the call, pull over to the side of the road until you finish, and give yourself a minute or so to calm down and refocus before starting your vehicle and entering the flow of traffic. Even if pulling over makes you late, it's better to arrive a little behind schedule than to not make it there at all!
Hold distracted drivers accountable for their mistakes
It only takes one person choosing to argue with a co-worker on the phone to put you at risk for severe injury. If you have any reason to believe that distraction played a role in a collision that left you severely hurt, discussing your concerns with an attorney could help you explore your options for compensation. A lawyer may be able to obtain phone records that validate your belief and help solidify your case against the other driver.