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360-464-1650 | 888-655-2647
Judge John E. Turner (Ret.)

Safeguarding against distracted motorists

You may already know the dangers of driving while distracted. Many Olympia area motorists do, too. However, some of them are not using this knowledge to change their driving behaviors. They still operate their vehicles while performing other activities that make it challenging for them to stay focused on the roads.

Driving distractions can be just as deadly as drunk driving. Less awareness of a person's surroundings means an increase in driving errors. More driving errors lead to an increase in the number of injuries and fatalities that happen on the road every day.

Take the following suggestions into consideration to protect yourself and loved ones from distracted motorists. 

Watch for dangerous activities

When you think of distractions, you may think of cellphones and texting. While texting is a major source of distractions for many drivers, it is not the only one. Other types of driving distractions that motorists often engage in include eating, grooming, talking to passengers, reading maps and playing games on mobile devices.

You may be able to identify drivers engaging in these behaviors and avoid getting too close to their vehicles.

Drive defensively

When people do not pay attention, they may make mistakes that require unprepared drivers around them to make split-second decisions. These can lead to further errors that dramatically alter road conditions for other motorists.

You should use defensive driving behaviors such as following at a safe distance and scanning the roadway to decrease your risk of a collision.

Report offenders

Many people use electronic devices while they drive because they think they will not get caught. Although there are many traffic initiatives in place, and law enforcement officers can ticket drivers who are holding a phone, many individuals remain willing to take their chances anyway.

When an officer is not nearby to catch an offender, you can help prevent crashes by reporting the driver--after you have pulled your vehicle to the side of the road, of course.

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