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Tips for Combatting Distracted Driving
FOCUS ON THE ROAD. Multi-tasking while driving can cause accidents. Averting your eyes, removing your hands from the wheel, or interacting with passengers even for a few seconds can increase odds of an accident. Follow the tips below to protect yourself and others. If you need to take baby steps, start with one or two ways you can become a safer driver.
- Put the Phone Away.
Easier said than done of course. If you need to talk or text, pull over. If you just can’t resist, try putting your phone in the trunk for the ride. Even on hands-free or bluetooth, talking on the phone is a cognitive distraction.
- NEVER Text and Drive.
Texting is a double whammy as it is both a cognitive and manual distraction (since it requires your hands off the wheel). If you have a passenger with you, use a designated texter to read and send your text messages.
- Encourage Others Not to Text and Drive.
Speak up when you have the opportunity. ‘Don’t Drive Intexticated’ was a successful crossover campaign from Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).
- Limit the Number of Passengers in Your Vehicle.
- Do Not Eat, Drink, or Smoke while Driving.
The distractions are obvious here requiring your hands to be in too many places other than the wheel.
- Refrain from Cleaning, Grooming, and Reading.
Tidying up the front seat is not safe while driving. Applying make-up, reading while waiting on a red light – all examples of multi-tasking ‘no-no’s.
- Properly Secure Passengers & Pets.
Making sure everyone is buckled in and restrained to help prevent distractions.
- Program Navigation Beforehand.
Never put your destination in while you are driving.