A distracted driver is only a few seconds away to a disaster. Safety campaigners constantly remind us about the importance of driving attentively.
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The goal is to reduce the exponential number of crashes that are taking place in the United States.
In fact, distracted driving constitutes approximately 25% of all motor vehicle crash fatalities in the U.S. In addition, teenagers rank as the most vulnerable age group today.
It’s somehow easy to spot a distracted driver on the road. The increasing number of in-car distractions are making motorists more vulnerable to the challenges of operating a vehicle.
If you think you are immune to the risks of driving distractedly, think twice. Your driving skills cannot guarantee you will be crash-free if you keep giving in to distractions.
For that reason, here are 5 straightforward ways to avoid distracted driving.
Heads up and phones down
You’ve probably seen a sign on the road alerting you against the use of phones while driving. This is a habit that causes a lot of crashes in the U.S. and you should try your best to enhance your safety.
A good advice is to put your phone down at all times regardless of who is texting or calling you.
If, by any chance, you are getting a life-changing text or call, you are advised to pull off the road and park safely before using your phone.
Even hand-free devices are a real source of distraction. Not to mention that it is an illegal habit in some jurisdictions. Be mindful and avoid committing infractions.
Avoid drowsy driving
It should go without saying that well-rested drivers are less vulnerable to suffer a car accident. If you are feeling tired, it’s a good idea to take a nap and get your energy back before climbing behind the wheel.
As a matter of fact, a government study reported that 37% of American motorists have nodded off at least once. Be cautious. It makes more sense to take a nap and be late to your destination rather than not getting there at all.
The number of passengers along with the level of activity impacts your driving
In principle, this type of distraction majorly affects young drivers who haven’t reached an optimal level of confidence behind the wheel.
That’s the reason why many state’s GDL laws ban teens from driving with other teenagers during the first months of solo driving.
Attention, teenagers! Driving with friends creates a noisy environment, removing your attention from the road.
Eating while driving is also distracting
If you are running late for work, it makes sense to be efficient, specially when you know that you can revert the situation.
However, grabbing your Starbucks coffee or burrito breakfast while handling the steering wheel with only one hand is not a safe habit whatsoever.
You are strongly advised to get up earlier than your usual time and plan your day in a way that doesn’t inflict your safety on the road.
Leave your multi-tasking skills at work
You may be tempted to do other things while on your way to your destination, which doesn’t necessarily enhance your safety.
A proactive, responsible driver sets the music playlist, arranges calls, and grabs something to eat before and/or after reaching their destination.
Why would you put yourself in a situation where your safety is at risk? Focus on your driving, check around for signs and other vehicles that are getting closer, and drive cautiously.