Avoiding Distractions While Driving Could Save Your Life
You’ve seen them on the roads; you might even know a few of them from your neighborhood, school, or even work. Distracted drivers come in all shapes, sizes, ages and experience levels. Even if you’re not one today, you could become one at any moment.
If you or someone else you know thinks you can drive just fine while talking on your phone or texting, think about this: More than 450,000 people were injured in crashes that reportedly involved distracted driving in 2009, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. More than 5,000 of those people died.
Distractions on the road come in many forms, according to www.distraction.gov, a U.S. Department of Transportation website. Teen drivers who may feel over-confident after just acquiring their license can especially be at risk. There are three main kinds of distractions:
- Visual – taking your eyes off the road
- Manual –taking your hands off the wheel
- Cognitive – taking your mind off what you’re doing
To help you avoid all three kinds of distractions the next time you’re behind the wheel of your car, here are a few tips:
- Put your phone in silent mode and store it away from the front seat or in a purse or bag. This helps reduce temptation.
- Have a passenger answer your phone or return text messages for you.
- If a call or a text can’t wait, pull over in a safe spot before using your phone.
- This one seems obvious, but finish shaving or applying makeup before you get in the car!
- If you’re emotional, wait until you’ve calmed down before hitting the road.
- Avoid road rage. You’ll be happier and safer.
Whenever you’re on the road, it’s not a time to multi-task – especially if you’re new to driving. Focus on driving safely.
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