Do you engage in distracted driving behaviors? Distracted driving occurs anytime your attention is not focused on driving or the road ahead. Distractions can be cognitive, visual, or manual, but they all take away from your main responsibility when you’re behind the wheel — that of driving safely.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are approximately 660,000 distracted drivers on the road everyday during daylight hours. This creates a hazard not just for those drivers, but for every car around them as well as bikers and pedestrians on or along the roadway. So what can you do to cut down on this dangerous trend? Here are 10 tips to help you stay safe and focused on the road:
- Never use your phone while driving. You can turn your phone off, turn it upside down, or stow it away in your glovebox or backseat to remove the temptation to answer notifications.
- Remember, hands free phone calls can still create cognitive distractions. If you are having a conversation, you’re not fully focused on the road ahead. Calls can wait until you get safely to your office or home.
- Set your GPS before you turn the car on. This will help avoid fumbling over addresses while you drive.
- If you have a new car, make sure to familiarize yourself with its features, like windshield wipers, heat, air, etc, so that you aren’t fumbling to figure them out as you drive.
- Avoid eating in the car. Make time to eat before you leave or after you get to your destination.
- Finish grooming tasks, like doing your hair, makeup, or shaving, before you get in the car.
- Make sure everything is secure in your car before you leave. Having things roll around under your seat or in the backseat of your car can be a dangerous distraction.
- If you’re driving with young children or pets, make sure they are secure and have everything they need before you go.
- Young drivers should limit the number of passengers they have in the car. Passengers should do everything they can to help drivers stay focused when they are behind the wheel.
- Always model good behavior for your kids. If they see you using your phone while you’re driving, they may think this is acceptable behavior.
Making sure our roads are safe is a responsibility everyone can take part in. Follow these simple safety techniques to make sure you’re focused on the road ahead every time you drive. Have more questions about other ways to stay safe on the road? Contact one of our more than 500 independent insurance agents for help with a new or existing car insurance policy: bit.ly/QuincyFindAgent.