Most people consider themselves safe drivers, but no one is immune from potential distractions behind the wheel. While a quick glance at your phone or reaching for something on the floor seem like innocent tasks, those split seconds are enough to jeopardize your life and others when you’re driving.
According to the CDC, about eight people in the U.S. are killed by crashes involving a distracted driver every day. Everyone has a responsibility to do their part to end the dangers of distracted driving on the road. Here are a few ways you can reduce your own distractions and stay vigilant to others who may be distracted on the road:
1. Put your phone away
Whether you’re texting, browsing the internet or talking on the phone, using your cellphone while driving is dangerous – even if you’re stopped at a red light. Turning your phone on silent a stowing it out of sight will help you avoid temptation on the road.
2. Don’t try to multitask
Any activity that takes your focus away from driving is a distraction behind the wheel – including hands-free technology. Eating, drinking, and grooming are all examples of multitasking you shouldn’t attempt when you’re driving.
3. Plan your route
If you’re driving somewhere new or unfamiliar, you should consider programming your navigation system before starting your car or let a passenger do it for you. Otherwise, you might find yourself needing to look up directions while driving.
4. Set a good example
If you have kids – particularly teenagers – it’s a good idea to model safe driving habits such as always staying attentive on the road and putting your cellphone away. You can also help your teen driver stay safe behind the wheel by limiting the number of their passengers until they gain experience.
5. Don’t reach for items
If you drop something in your car or an object starts rolling around, you should avoid reaching for it while driving. Taking your eyes off the road for even a second can put you at risk of an accident.
Some distractions are impossible to avoid, but you can take precautions to manage them. By doing your part to stay alert and focused behind the wheel, you can help prevent dangerous accidents.