Depending on how old you are and what your series of life experiences has been, you have likely encountered issues or challenges where you’ve learned that the only person’s behavior or actions you can control is your own. You may know what would be best for someone else in a particular situation; however, you can’t control another person’s thoughts or choices. This is especially true regarding driving habits. You might be alert and cautious behind the wheel, but that doesn’t mean all drivers are.

In fact, you only have to read current Tennessee crash statistics to see just how dangerous navigating state roadways can be. There are certain driving behaviors that greatly increase the risk for collision and injury. Even if you personally try to avoid such habits, you may still wind up injured if another driver becomes distracted and crashes into your vehicle.

Eating and drinking at the wheel are dangerous distractions

How often do you see drivers unwrapping sandwiches, reaching into a bag of French fries, sipping a drink or performing other tasks associated with eating or drinking behind the wheel? Perhaps you’ve even done this yourself on occasion. The fact is that driving should be the only focus a vehicle operator has at the time.

Many people think it’s no big deal to eat or drink a non-alcoholic beverage while driving. However, this happens to be one of the top driving distractions that often lead to serious, even fatal, motor vehicle collisions.

One should engage in personal grooming elsewhere

Rear-view mirrors are handy when you need to see behind your vehicle. They are not meant to replace bathroom mirrors, though. Drivers who use rear-view mirrors to pluck eyebrows, apply makeup, trim facial hair or perform other personal grooming habits place themselves, their passengers and nearby travelers at risk for serious injury.

Parents should pull over before helping kids

It can be highly stressful to try to drive with a crying child in the back seat. If you’re a parent, you may also be familiar with back-seat bickering or whining. It’s never a good idea to shift your focus from driving to handling a child-related situation without first safely exiting the roadway.

Any number of child-related issues can arise while driving, such as a child becoming ill, an infant dropping a pacifier or a toddler having a bathroom accident. Parents who take their eyes off the road and hands off the wheel to try to handle such issues are much likelier to be involved in collisions than those who make safely pulling over the first step toward resolving the problem.

Damages in distracted driving accidents can be devastating

Not only might you suffer severe physical injuries if a distracted driver hits you, you might experience other negative consequences, as well. The emotional trauma associated with sudden collision can cause lasting turmoil in life. A distracted driving accident can also spark serious financial debt that you might be completely unprepared to meet.

Many Tennessee accident victims seek recovery for their losses by filing personal injury claims in civil court against those whose negligence was directly responsible for damages.