Distracted driving is an entirely preventable action. It is up to the driver to keep their eyes on the road ahead of them to ensure their own safety and that of any passengers with them.
However, the surrounding circumstances can play a large role in taking the driver’s attention off of the street. Perhaps they catch a glimpse of a unique site or start driving in an area they feel more confident in. If responsible motorists are more aware of these types of environments, they can take more caution when they come across these areas so they can be on the lookout for potentially dangerous drivers.
Long and rural stretches
A 2016 study found that motorists in rural areas have poor reaction times and drastically reduce their speed while driving. Oklahoma has many rural roadways, and many believe them to be the perfect place to take out their phones to check a few texts. These stretches have minimal turns, traffic signs and other cars that they need to look out for. However, the poor conditions can make slip-ups far easier than a negligent driver would realize.
Safer roads result in safer drivers
Oklahoma is not known for having particularly safe roads compared to the rest of the nation, and that could be resulting in more distracted drivers. A recent study by Ohio State University states that roads that contained roundabouts, medians, and asphalt shoulders had a reduced distracted driving crash risk in that state. Even though this study was done in a different state, it does offer ideas that can apply elsewhere. Having updated roads that are more accessible and encourage safer driving habits could help convince drivers that the state and its law enforcement are looking over these streets.
With how concentrated many drivers are on the road, marketers go out of their way to stand out just to get a glimpse from them. This results in colorful billboards, inflatable tube men or giant signs to advertise their companies and products to motorists. Unfortunately, the driver may be too captivated by the site and look away just long enough to make a serious mistake. Even in neighborhoods that have slower speeds and no advertisements have ways to grab a driver’s attention. The holiday season in particular is dangerous from how many homeowners cover their property in bright lights to show off their decorative abilities.
If you notice any road designs or nearby sites that could serve as distractions, know that you are not the only one that may be tempted to look elsewhere. No matter how long, safe or visually distracting the road is, drivers must keep their eyes forward at all times. Those that fail to do so could be liable for a personal injury lawsuit.