Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents, and it’s not just teenagers committing this offense! We’re all guilty of distracted driving at times, but it’s unwise to allow the behavior to continue. When you’re not one hundred percent focused on the road and other drivers around you, your chances of an accident, injury, and rising auto insurance premiums increase dramatically. So follow these five tips to reduce distractions while you drive.
Turn off your cell phone. Turn off your cell phone, or put it on airplane mode, so that you aren’t tempted to use it while driving. Some drivers even place their phones in a purse or in the backseat, out of sight and (hopefully) out of mind. Since using a cell phone while driving is illegal in many areas, this tip can at least save you money wasted on a ticket.
Limit the number of passengers, and amount of activity inside the vehicle. If you find yourself more easily distracted lately, avoid loading the car with children, inebriated relatives, or too many chatty Cathys. Even your dog can be a distraction, and riding loose in the car is not safe for Fido, anyway.
Never drive when you’re tired. Driving while drowsy actually increases your risk of an accident by about four times. It is usually safer to pull over to the side of the road, and either take a nap or call for help. Trying to get home faster only increases your odds of an accident.
Don’t try to multi-task. Yes, sitting in traffic can be boring and feel unproductive. But it really is not a good time to balance your checkbook, eat a snack, apply makeup, brush your hair, or any other activity. Food spills are actually cited as a causative factor in far more car accidents than you would think! Even if traffic is slow, you should keep your eyes and attention on the road at all times.
No matter who you are, your brain is limited in the amount of information it can process at one time. Whenever you’re engaged in a potentially life-risking activity, such as driving, you should utilize all of your mental resources to focus on the task at hand. Reducing the amount of distractions in the vehicle could save your life, or the lives of other drivers, so follow the above tips faithfully until they become regular habits.