With thousands of Americans being involved in fatal car accidents every year, many deaths can be completely avoidable. There are numerous distractions that may make a driver take their eye off the road, which can result in devastating consequences. To be safe on the road, it’s important that you focus your full attention on what is ahead of you, so here are five tips to reduce distracted driving.
Stow Your Phone
In the modern world, you will be hard-pressed to find somebody without a cellphone. While we’re all aware of the dangers of using our phones to text while driving, it’s strongly advised to avoid using hands-free too (except in absolute emergencies). In most states, texting while driving is illegal. Not only could you get a ticket and fine, but your insurance could go up too. The last thing you want is to find yourself in a collision caused by yourself.
Anything that occupies your mind while driving can be a major distraction when you’re behind the wheel. Whether it’s eating breakfast before heading to work or putting on makeup, it’s best to wake up 30 minutes earlier and allocate time to get ready, rather than trying to do everything while driving. When in the driver’s seat, your number one priority is to focus on the road ahead, rather than satisfying your hunger or worrying about your appearance.
Don’t Be the Distraction
If you have family members or friends who you know are driving, do not try and call or text them. The last thing you want is to distract them from focusing on the road, especially if they end up in an accident. If you’re in the passenger seat, you need to respect the drivers’ wishes if they want to concentrate on driving, rather than engaging in conversation. If you’re the driver or passenger and find yourself hurt in a car accident, contacting a lawyer for help is important.
Plan Your Route Beforehand
When you’re driving somewhere new or going on vacation, it’s important that you plan your route before heading out the door. Programming your navigation while driving will take your eyes off the road and will increase the risk of you crashing. Even if you look away for a split second, there are various hazards and warnings that you may not be aware of. If you’re driving with others, it’s best to ask them to help if you’re already on your journey.
Lead by Example
If you’re a parent, your children will look up to you and follow your every lead. If they see you texting while driving or becoming distracted, they may follow in your footsteps. Instead, lead by example and refrain from sending or responding to text messages (regardless if you’re at a red light). There are apps that you can download like Drivemode, which silences incoming text alerts, turning them off automatically when the vehicle is moving at 15mph or more.
Whether you’re driving on your own or have others in the vehicle, it’s important that your eyes stay focused on the road. There are numerous distractions that can take your eye off what’s ahead and result in serious and potentially fatal consequences, so be sure to take all the advice above into account.