Driving while texting, talking on the phone or otherwise taking one’s attention off the road is a major cause of serious auto accidents. According to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving caused more than 3,000 fatalities in 2017 alone.
Even if you already practice safe driving habits, review these tips to prevent distractions you may not have considered.
Pull over for phone calls
Although many newer-model vehicles come with voice commands to make calls safer, talking on the phone behind the wheel still creates a distraction. If you need to make a call because of an urgent situation, find an area where you can pull off the road and complete the conversation.
Clean out your car
If you have old coffee cups, receipts, cosmetics and other items cluttering your front seat, your attention can easily stray from the road. These items may move in transit and prevent you from driving safely. When you have to remove debris from near the steering wheel or under your feet, this constitutes a dangerous distraction.
Hide your phone
Even with your best efforts, you may feel drawn to answer a text or browse your social media accounts in traffic or when you hit a red light. Prevent this dangerous temptation by switching your device to do not disturb and placing it out of reach in your glove compartment.
Prepare for your trip in advance
While your car remains parked, set yourself up for a successful drive. Pick out your favorite playlist or podcast before you hit the road and program your GPS to guide you to your destination, adding stops for food or coffee as needed. These actions prevent you from making changes while you are already driving.
Implementing safe practices can help protect you and others on the road from serious auto accident injury. Encourage friends and loved ones to consider taking steps to limit driving distractions as well, especially if you are a parent of teen drivers.