In 2017, a total of 3,166 people were reported to have died in New Mexico and across the U.S. in distracted driving crashes. This is according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Distracted driving is becoming a serious concern, but drivers can keep themselves from becoming a statistic by doing something about the distractions they normally encounter on the road.

One of those distractions is a driver’s phone. Even a hands-free device can divert one’s attention from what’s ahead, so the best thing to do is to leave the phone on Do Not Disturb and to pull over if one must call or text. Next, drivers must avoid the distraction that comes with eating and drinking. Perhaps a no-eating policy for passengers as well can help by preventing spills and arguments among children regarding their food.

Drowsiness is just as bad as distraction because it causes drivers to lose focus, drift out of their lane and have memory lapses. The only solution to this is adequate sleep, but drivers could check with their doctor about any sleep disorders they might have. They should also be aware that shift work and alcohol consumption both heighten the risk for drowsy driving. If they must go out in spite of their fatigue, drivers could hire a ridesharing service or drink coffee.

If a drowsy or distracted driver causes another person to incur a personal injury, that victim may be able to seek compensation for his or her medical bills, lost wages and other damages. This means filing a claim against the guilty driver’s insurance company, which is a step to be taken with a lawyer. The lawyer might hire investigators to obtain a copy of the police report in addition to other evidence, such as phone records and eyewitness testimony, before seeing whether the other side is willing to negotiate.