When looking at the staggering statistics of distracted driving traffic accidents and deaths, one realizes distracted driving is deadly. To promote safe driving and raise awareness, we came up with a few safe driving tips:
- Pick a Designated Texter: Your passengers are the perfect temporary assistants to take care of responding to your texts or calls while you keep your hands safely on the steering wheel and eyes on the road.
- Out of Site, Out of Mind: Keep all important bags, purses, and cell phones in the back of your vehicle or tucked safely in a secure compartment.
- There’s an App for That: You can download a mobile app to help set up notifications to inform those trying to reach out that you’re driving. Also, some phones have a driving notification you can turn on in your phone settings.
- Give Yourself Plenty of Time: There’s nothing worse than driving in a hurry. Be sure to schedule extra time to combat traffic or delays when driving to your destination.
- Simply Pull Over: Take the time to reroute your directions or eat your lunch. A few extra minutes of pulling over could save years of your life.
- Unplug: Keep your cell phone in an accessible place but not in one where you can see it light up for every notification you receive. Your cell phone should also be on silent mode. Just because your hands aren’t on your phone doesn’t mean the distraction has been eliminated. If a phone call or text message is really important, it’s best to pull over into a safe location — preferably a parking lot — before using your phone. You can then safely return to your drive.
- Refuel: Drowsy driving is distracted driving, so never drive when you’re too tired and focus on your health. Make sure your sleep routine isn’t affecting your morning commute. Aim to get the recommended amount of at least 7.5 to 8 hours of sleep every night. Don’t forget to energize with breakfast before you get in your car, so you’re not scrambling to unwrap your granola bar at a red light. Moreover, adopt a habit of drinking water regularly throughout the day. Staying hydrated helps you think with clarity, which is critical when driving.
- Focus: Even though roadways are improving shapes and cars are becoming more high-tech, the driver remains the most important part of the driving experience. In a French university study of 1,000 drivers who were at fault in a collision, thinking about things other than driving — or “mind wandering” — was found as the main cause for nearly 50 percent of the collisions. Therefore, only drive when you’re mentally and physically fit to do so. When you’re behind the wheel, pay attention to what’s happening all around your vehicle. Frequently scanning your mirrors and watching your speed will provide you with more control over your vehicle.
- Secure Your Cargo: Rustling and falling items can distract you from the road. How often have you taken your attention off the road because you heard something fall in the back seat? While you can’t prevent every distracting noise, you can prevent loose items from startling you in the event of sudden braking by securing your cargo. Also, never place smaller items on your lap or on the floor near the driver-side foot pedals — such as phones, shoes, small bags or purses.
Distracted driving is not a risk worth taking. Let’s create safer roadways by choosing to drive safely.
Get more information from the NHTSA here: https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/distracted-driving