10 Tips for Managing Driver Distractions

Distracted drivers pose a deadly risk to everyone on the road. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that in 2008, the most recent year for which data is available, 5,870 people lost their lives and another 515,000 were injured in police-reported crashes in which a form of distraction was noted on the crash report. Here are ten tips for managing the most common distractions.

1.    Turn it off. Turn your phone off or switch to silent mode before you get in the car.
2.    Spread the word. Set up a special message to tell callers that you are driving and you’ll get back to them as soon as possible, or sign up for a service that offers this.
3.    Pull over. If you need to make a call, pull over to a safe area first.
4.    Use your passengers. Ask a passenger to make the call for you.
5.    X the Text. Don’t ever text and drive, surf the web or read your email while driving. It is dangerous and against the law in most states.
6.    Know the law. Familiarize yourself with state and local laws before you get in the car. Some states and localities prohibit the use of hand held cell phones. GHSA offers a handy chart of state laws on its website: www.ghsa.org/html/stateinfo/laws/cellphone_laws.html.
7.    Prepare. Review maps and directions before you start to drive. If you need help when you are on the road, ask a passenger to help or pull over to a safe location to review the map/directions again.
8.    Secure your pets. Pets can be a big distraction in the car. Always secure your pets properly before you start to drive.
9.    Keep the kids safe. Pull over to a safe location to address situations with your children in the car.
10.    Focus on the task at hand. Refrain from smoking, eating, drinking, reading and any other activity that takes your mind and eyes off the road.

Dear Friends and Clients,

In furtherance of our firm’s culture of commitment to always act with compassion, concern and commitment to our clients, community and colleagues, we have been taking precautions to ensure that we are still fulfilling our ethical and moral obligations while prioritizing health, wellness and safety of all we can.

As you know, the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced changes to many lives and businesses in our communities, and around the world. We, much like our neighbors and friends, have been taking precautions to ensure that we are still fulfilling our ethical and moral obligation to our clients, while also prioritizing the health, wellness and safety of our employees.

Until further notice, our offices will be closed to the public to encourage social distancing and to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Our team is still hard at work, many from home, and you may still call, email, live chat or video conference us if you or a loved one is seeking legal assistance. As the first law firm to offer our clients secure online access to their case file more than a decade ago, we have always been believers in using technology to make life easier and information more accessible. In these present times it has been a smooth transition for us to continue to offer our clients the same seamless and thorough service that you deserve and are accustomed to.

This pandemic is unlike anything any of us have faced in our lifetimes, and while we can continue to emotionally support one another through it all, staying home and keeping your distance is vital to the health and wellness of our communities. It does not feel good to break routines, cancel events and retreat from our normal, day-to-day socializing, but let us remember that, in times of strife, prior generations were asked to go to war and we are simply being asked to stay home. Your isolation equals more lives saved, and more time for medical providers to prepare for the treatment of patients battling COVID-19.

When the dust settles, we will join together with a greater appreciation for our lives, local businesses, loved ones and health. Until then, we will continue to offer guidance from a safe distance.

Very truly yours,

Andrew G. Finkelstein and the staff of Finkelstein & Partners, LLP