5 tips for distraction-free driving
Every year, distracted driving is the cause of thousands of deaths and injuries in the United States: 3,450 people were killed and 391,000 were injured in accidents due to distracted driving in 2016 alone. Although drivers of all ages are at risk, the odds of a fatal crash due to distracted driving are much higher in novice drivers. In fact, drivers under 20 are three times more likely to be in a fatal accident than more experienced drivers.
Although drivers over 20 are at lower risk, all drivers should be wary of unnecessary distractions when driving.
In honor of National Teen Driver Safety Week this week, here are distractions to be aware of and some helpful ways to stay focused when hitting the road:
A world of distractions
While looking at a phone is the primary cause of distracted driving, there a number of day-to-day activities you might not typically think of as distractions, like:
- Changing the radio.
- Navigating a GPS.
- Changing the temperature.
- Kids or other passengers.
5 tips to avoid distractions
Keeping all these distractions in mind, it’s important to stay vigilant. Follow these five tips to help you keep your focus:
1. Put your phone away. Place it somewhere out of sight while driving so you’re not tempted to text or scroll through Instagram.
2. Stay organized. Store loose items in the glove compartment or the trunk. Hearing something rolling around or feeling a thump on your seat can make it difficult to stay focused.
3. Plan ahead. Make sure your routine is complete before getting in the car. That way, you won’t have to eat your breakfast or finish combing your hair while driving.
4. Adjust your tunes and temperature before take-off. Be sure to fix things like your radio and the temperature before you start driving so that you can keep your eyes on the road and not your dashboard.
5. Consider keeping it quiet. It might be a good idea to keep conversations to a minimum while driving, so that your full attention is where it needs to be.