Distracted driving continues to present a major problem on roadways in Ohio and across the United States. During 2015, according to statistics published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 391,000 people suffered injuries and 3,477 people died in distracted driving car accidents. The NHTSA includes any activity that pulls the motorist’s attention from the task of driving in the definition of distracted driving. People can avoid distracted driving themselves by taking a few precautions.

It’s important to set global positioning system devices before the trip begins. Many people rely on GPS devices to navigate for them, as they allow drivers to concentrate on the road and still know where they’re going. A problem can arise, though, if drivers try to set a destination while behind the wheel. If drivers take their eyes from the road to press buttons on the device, they may end up in a car accident.

Drivers should shut phones off or keep them out of reach. Phones and tablets are among the primary distractions when it comes to distracted driving. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drivers take their eyes off the road for approximately five seconds every time they send or read a text message. That’s long enough, at 55 miles per hour, to cover the length of a football field.

Finally, people shouldn’t drive if they’re too tired. A study by the U.S. government indicated that 37 percent of people have fallen asleep or nodded off while driving at least once. People who are injured in motor vehicle accidents caused by a distracted, drowsy or otherwise negligent motorist may want to meet with a lawyer to see what recourse they might have.