It’s so easy to get distracted while on the road. With such busy lives, it is tempting to use the time spent in the car to accomplish other tasks, but this is a risk not worth taking. According to the CDC, more than nine people are killed and over 1,153 people are injured in distracted driving accidents in the United States every single day. In addition, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has determined that anywhere between 1/5 and 1/3 of all accidents are caused by distracted driving. It’s not worth it to become a statistic.
Still, we often forget just how much damage our behaviors while driving can really do. In order to better ensure you are always driving distraction-free, follow these ten important tips.
- Make all adjustments to the car before leaving. Turn the radio to a station you like. Move the seat. Program the GPS. This will save you from dangerous distractions once you get on the road.
- Properly store all loose purses, bags, gear, possessions, and other items that could roll around in the car before pulling onto the road. This ensures that you don’t feel tempted to reach for them on the floor or the seat later, as well as that they won’t do any other damage.
- Keep all electronic devices off. Texting while driving is obviously a huge risk to your health, but talking is almost as much of a risk, even when using a hands-free device. If there is an emergency that requires you to use a cell phone, pull safely to the side of the road.
- Finish getting ready before you leave home. It may seem to save you time in the morning to do some extra dressing or grooming while in traffic, but it is a real distraction. Wait until you are not driving.
- Wait to snack at your destination. Eating or drinking in the car is a common distraction.
- Use passengers to help minimize distractions. Passengers can be either a help or a problem on the road. Let them help you by managing the radio, GPS and other devices for you so you can stay attuned to the road.
- Pull over before attending to the needs of any children in the car. If your passengers are children, sometimes they need extra attention or care. Just be sure to do it while safely pulled off the street. You don’t want to risk the lives of your children by driving distracted. Make sure that they have everything needed before leaving when possible.
- Avoid emotional or particularly engaging conversations while driving. Some chatter is fine, but you want your full focus to be on the road.
- If your mind wanders while driving, it may be time to take a break. On long trips, it’s not rare for your attention to the road to wane. That’s why a quick stop can help you get back in the driving mentality. Rest your eyes, stretch your legs, and get some fresh air to get rejuvenated.
- If you find anything taking part of your attention, that is a distraction; recognize it, and pull over. When you can’t devote your full attention to driving because of some other activity, you are risking an accident. Take care of it before or after your trip or while pulled off the road, but not while driving.
Distracted driving is something we must all work together to eliminate. We need to recognize that any distracting behavior while driving risks our own lives and those of other passengers and people on the road. It is not worth the risk.
Unfortunately, distractions happen to the best of us. These can lead to an accident or a moving violation. Often there is a valid reason for our behavior. If you have been charged with a moving violation, a traffic lawyer is able to help you protect your record. Call Cincinnati traffic lawyer Brad Groene at Luftman, Heck & Associates today. We can be reached at any time at (513) 338-1890 for a free consultation on your case.