Although we’ve definitely seen a rise in distracted driving since cellphones came along, there are lots of other ways drivers can become distracted. Did you know that about 920,000 accidents are caused by distracted driving every year?
April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and we’ve got 5 tips to prevent distracted driving.
1. Put your phone out of reach. Although texting is the first thing we usually think of, your phone can be distracting for many reasons. Email, social media, and other apps can take your eyes off the road. Even hands-free calls and voice-texting can be distracting because they take your mind off the road. Did you know that 47 states have banned all texting while driving? If you do need to use your phone, pull over or have someone else in the car do it for you.
2. Park before eating. We’ve all done it: started snacking on our fries before we’ve even left the drive-thru line. Unfortunately, eating can take your hands off the wheel and your attention off the road. Either wait until you’ve reached your destination or find a parking lot to pull into first.
3. Keep your furry friends in the back seat. Although we love the idea of ours dogs sitting in the passenger seat beside us, it simply isn’t safe for you or for them. Just like with kids, the safest place for man’s best friend is the back seat. Use a harness, crate, or dog car seat to keep your pet where they should be.
4. Be prepared before you leave. From putting on your seatbelt to finding your sunglasses, make sure you’re prepared before you put your car in drive. It’s also a good idea to already have your GPS set up and different vehicle controls (mirrors, radio, air conditioning, etc.) adjusted before you go. Once you’re moving, looking for loose items and adjusting the controls can be just as distracting as texting.
5. Let passengers help. Although passengers can be distracting, they can also help you. If you need to adjust the air conditioning or change the destination on your GPS, a passenger can help. This way, your eyes stay on the road and your hands stay on the wheel. A passenger, such as your spouse, friend, or older child can even make calls or write texts for you if they are urgent.