While there is a continued growing awareness around the dangers of driving distracted – such as texting while driving – it hasn’t done much to prevent drivers from doing it. Most drivers understand the risks of distractions very well but think they don’t apply to them. After all, what’s the harm in looking away from the road for a few seconds?
Driving requires your full attention. While texting and driving are among the more common distractions that cause car accidents, but there are countless other mundane and seemingly innocent tasks that could put you and your passengers at risk on the road. According to the American Automobile Association, here are a few tips to avoid deadly distractions while driving:
- Focus on driving. Remember, your focus needs to be fully on driving when you’re behind the wheel. You should be actively scanning your roads and using your mirrors to avoid road hazards.
- Store loose items. Make sure you don’t have any loose gear or possessions rolling around in your car as you drive, or you may feel tempted to reach for them while driving. Secure all of your items before you leave for your drive.
- Plan your route. Before you start driving, make sure you have your GPS set up, your playlist or radio station set and your controls to the proper settings to not have to readjust while you are driving.
- Don’t eat and drive. Many people like to eat on the road to save time, but this could be a dangerous distraction – especially if the food is messy. Save all of your meals or snacks before or after your trip and never while you are driving.
- Put away technology. When you’re driving, your cell phone should only be used in an emergency – including hands-free technology. Silence your notifications or activate your Do Not Disturb feature while driving to avoid any temptation to check on the road.
- Buckle up your kids. Always make sure any young kids are secure in their car seats before leaving for your trip. If they require your attention while driving, make sure you pull over to a safe location rather than address it while driving.
Remember, any action that takes your eyes or mind off the road while driving is a distraction. By following these tips, you can ensure you don’t endanger the lives of yourself and others on the road.