10 Ways to Avoid Distracted Driving
What is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving is any activity you partake in while driving that shifts your attention from driving safely.
Examples of distracted driving activities include:
- Talking on the phone
- Eating or drinking
- Using GPS or other apps
- Watching a video or movie
- Playing with the radio
- Grooming/putting on makeup
- Being emotionally distracted
The #1 Cause of Car Accidents
Distracted driving is the leading cause of car accidents, and it has quickly became one of the country’s leading health concerns. At any moment, about 660,000 drivers are handling electronic devices while driving. The results of distracted driving are deadly. It’s time to be a part of the solution and to learn how to avoid distracted driving.
Here are 10 ways to avoid distracted driving:
Turn on auto-reply for your text messages.
We have all heard the scary statistics. Sending a text behind the wheel is like driving blindfold across a football field. When you look down at your phone, your vehicle is still driving forward while you are basically blindfolded. A text can wait. To avoid the urge to text back or open your phone, simply keep your phone out of reach. Or, turn off your phone while driving.
Additionally, iPhones and Androids allow users to activate “Driving Mode” in which it sends out an auto-reply message. You can enter or edit an auto-reply for when Driving Mode is turned on, such as, “I’m driving right now- I’ll call you soon”.
Organize before you leave.
Driving while scrounging in the center console is not safe. Prior to leaving for your destination, make sure you are organized. Make sure your GPS is programmed for your destination before you leave, or have your passenger be in charge of the GPS. The more you are organized before you leave, the less you will have to search for and take your eyes off the road when you need to grab something.
If you are drowsy, pull over.
Being tired or drowsy increases the risk of a crash nearly 4 times. If you feel like you are too tired to drive, pull over. Don’t try to get home faster. Instead, pull over when you feel drowsy.
Avoid eating while you are driving.
According to studies, one of the biggest driving distractions is eating or food spilling. Finishing your lunch while driving may seem like a time saver. However, you are putting yourself and many others at risk.
Save the multitasking for outside the car.
You may be the best multitasker, which can be a great thing. However, when you are driving a vehicle, DO NOT attempt to multitask. Take care of the other things before you drive or once your arrive safely at your destination. If you struggle with time management, recognize this and use this as an opportunity to work on your time management skills that cross over to other aspects of your life.
Limit the number of passengers in your car.
Many states, including Georgia, have state laws that prevent teens from having teenage passengers in the car in their early months of driving. Driving with friends can create a risky environment. Driving solo helps you focus on the road rather than your friends. Limit the number of passengers to avoid distracted driving.
Save the grooming for the bathroom and not your car.
We’ve all had those mornings (or afternoons) that we need to “get ready” in the car. Avoid this at all costs! Grooming in your car is not worth your life or others’. If you are using your mirror in a moving vehicle for anything other than driving, you are putting yourself and others at risk. Plan your time better in the morning, or finish getting ready in appropriate employee facilities to finish your morning grooming. Or, you can carpool or call an Uber on the mornings you need extra time to get ready in the car.
Do not drive while emotionally distracted.
Emotional driving is a huge distraction. This can include being upset, crying, or getting angry while driving. Ideally, it’s best to wait to drive until you have control over your emotions. However, this is not always realistic. Instead, try to calm down as much as you can, take deep breaths, and put all your focus on driving. If you experience road rage while driving, it is important to try self-help methods to combat this.
Use your drive time as quiet time.
Everyone needs time to unwind and zen. Zen is a total state of focus that involves the togetherness of body and mind. Whether you’re in traffic for 10 minutes or on a long commute home, take advantage of this time alone to recoup and gather your thoughts. Peace and quiet time is hard to find in our busy lives, so take advantage of this time alone to live in the moment, declutter, and unwind.
Follow these tips to zen while driving.
Get a good hands-free phone mount.
If you frequently use your GPS or a map app, get a mount for your phone. There are plenty of great gadgets that comply with the hands-free law.
Share this with your friends and family to avoid distracted driving. It’s deadly!
If you find yourself in a roadside emergency or stuck on the road, call Marietta Wrecker Service at (770) 765-1941. We will dispatch a towing professional to your location as fast as possible to help resolve your roadside emergency. We provide 24/7 roadside and towing services in Marietta and throughout metro-Atlanta. Be safe driving, and remember, avoid distracted driving!