Each day in the United States, more than nine people are killed and more than 1,153 people are injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver.
Distracted driving is driving while doing another activity that takes your attention away from driving. Distracted driving can increase the chance of a motor vehicle crash. Nearly every driver is guilty of some form of distracted driving, activities include things like talking on a mobile phone, texting, or eating. Using in-vehicle technologies (such as navigation systems) can also be sources of distraction.
THREE MAIN TYPES OF DISTRACTION:
- Visual | Taking your eyes off the road
- Manual | Taking your hands off the wheel
- Cognitive | Taking your mind off the task of driving
Although most distractions are avoidable, some distractions are impossible to completely prevent – instead they must be managed. Driving requires your full attention. Here are some tips to help you take charge of eliminating distractions, so you can focus on the road ahead.
TOP 10 TIPS TO AVOID DISTRACTIONS WHILE DRIVING (FROM AAA):
- Fully focus on driving.
- Store loose gear/items that could roll around the car.
- Make manual adjustments before moving the vehicle, such as entering addresses into navigation systems.
- Get dressed at home, not in the car.
- If possible, don’t eat in the car when driving. If you must, avoid messy foods.
- Secure children and pets before getting on the road.
- Put aside your electronic device(s) and resist operating electronics built into the vehicle.
- If you have passengers, enlist their help so you can focus on driving.
- If something comes up that demands your attention, find a safe place to pull off the road.
- As a general rule, if you cannot devote your full attention to driving because of another activity, it’s a distraction. Take care of the distraction before or after your trip, not while behind the wheel!
Remember, safety begins with you!