You are busy, right? Multitasking is a way to get more done quickly and is considered a great skill in most cases—but not while driving.
We’ve all seen drivers on their cell phones. Maybe you’ve seen drivers looking at directions, eating a snack, or even brushing their teeth! While these people may think they’re just multitasking, they are putting themselves and others in danger by being distracted drivers. Distracted driving can be anything from eating or drinking while driving to texting, using your GPS, checking an app on your phone, or adjusting the music.
Distracted driving has become a widespread problem throughout the United States. In 2015 alone, 391,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers. And to make it worse, today’s cars are only adding more distractions with touchscreen dashboards and controls.
Here are seven easy ways you can avoid distracted driving:
1. Prepare yourself before you drive.
Review directions ahead of time and pre-program your route in the GPS. Finish grooming, eating, and drinking before leaving. Allow plenty of travel time.
2. Prepare your vehicle before you drive.
Keep the vehicle tidy and store any loose items. Preset the climate and radio controls prior to driving.
3. Prepare and secure passengers.
Arrange items children need prior to driving by having snacks, books, and toys within the reach of your children. Be sure to secure children and pets properly.
4. Ignore messages.
Allow all phone messages to go to voicemail. Do not respond to text messages or emails. To avoid temptation, you may want to power down before driving, or use an app that prevents your phone from opening certain apps while you are driving.
5. Focus on driving.
Keep both hands on the wheel and your eyes and mind on the road at all times. Actively scan the road and check your mirrors.
6. Enlist help.
If you have passengers, ask for their help so you can focus on safely driving. Passengers can help you get something out of your purse or bag, help you with directions, keep children and pets entertained, and more.
7. Pull off the road.
If another activity demands your attention or if you are drowsy, pull off the road and stop your vehicle in a safe place.
Distracted driving is against the law in numerous jurisdictions. It causes accidents that result in severe injuries and death. As an auto insurance company, Acuity wants to share the facts and help prevent distracted driving. With an estimated 1 in 4 car accidents involving cell phones, don’t be fooled by the idea that “it won’t happen to me.” Tell your family, friends, and loved ones about the dangers of distracted driving and share these ways they can avoid distracted driving. Together, we can help save lives.