Distracted Driving, It Isn’t Just About Your Cellphone

Woman sitting in her car, drinking a beverage, writing in a notebook and talking on the phone at the same time.
Busy woman is in a hurry, drinking hot coffee, writing in a notebook and talking on the phone at the same time. She is multitasking while using on the phone and driving a car

For most of us, distractions in life are an everyday occurrence. With lengthy to do lists we have become experts at multi-tasking and trying to stay one step ahead of the game. But when it comes to driving in our vehicles we need to find a way to put those distractions aside, for the safety of ourselves and those around us.

More than 40,000 Americans died on the roads in 2016, the largest increase in deaths over a 2 year period in more than 50 years. While all those deaths were not necessarily distracted driving related we can’t help wonder how much of a role it played in many of them. Whether you, or someone you love has a tendency to text and drive, or be distracted on the road, here are some tips to staying focused and alert when you’re driving.

1. Stow your phone- Turn your phone off, put it on do not disturb or put it in the back seat so that you aren’t tempted to check it at a stop sign or traffic light.

2. Vow not to multi-task- Make an effort to get rid of every opportunity to be distracted while driving. Give yourself extra time at home to eat or put on your make up so that you aren’t forced to do it while driving.

3. Program your destination into your GPS before beginning the route. If you’re already driving and you need directions ask your passenger to put the address in or pull to the side of the road if you are driving alone.

4. Keep kids and pets safely in their seats.  Be sure to buckle your children up properly and secure your pets in a safe area of the vehicle. If anyone (person or pet) is climbing around the car freely that can be a huge distraction.

5. Consider restricting the passengers in your teenager’s cars. It’s a proven fact that teenage drivers are heavily distracted by their friends when their friends are in the car with them. Consider limited your inexperienced drivers to minimal passengers, and if possible keep your teens from being one of a large group driving with another inexperienced driver.

For more tips for taking the distraction out of your driving go to https://www.travelers.com/tools-resources/car/distracted-driving/10-tips-to-reduce-distracted-driving

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