If you drive often, it may be difficult to continually give your full attention to this activity. Especially with the increase in busy lifestyles and the prevalence of smartphones, distracted driving has become a concern for many.
Even if you try to prevent distractions when you drive, this can be difficult to do. However, there are strategies you can use to reduce distractions and your risk of getting into a collision.
Stow your phone
In 2021, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,522 people died in car accidents involving driver distraction, and cellphone use was a factor in many of them. One of the most common distractions while driving is the use of mobile phones. To prevent this, put your phone out of reach before you start your car to minimize the urge to check messages, answer calls or browse social media while driving.
Use hands-free devices
If you must use your phone while driving, make sure to utilize hands-free devices such as Bluetooth headsets or the car’s built-in systems. By relying on hands-free devices, you can keep both hands on the wheel while still making calls or listening to navigation directions.
Before hitting the road, take a few moments to set your GPS, adjust your mirrors and select your music or podcast. This preparation can prevent the need to make adjustments while driving, which can be a source of distraction.
Avoid eating and drinking
Eating and drinking while driving can lead to accidents, as they require you to take one hand off the wheel and your focus off the road. If you need to have a snack or a drink, pull over to a safe location to do so.
Engaging in deep or emotional conversations with passengers can be distracting when you operate a vehicle. While you can interact with your fellow passengers, limit the intensity of discussions while driving.
Refrain from grooming
Personal grooming, such as applying makeup or adjusting your hair, should occur before you start driving. These activities divert your attention and can result in dangerous situations on the road.
Take regular breaks
Long drives can be tiring, and fatigue can easily lead to distractions. Plan your trips with breaks to rest, stretch and refocus, so you can remain alert and attentive while you drive.
Even if you are careful about avoiding distractions when you drive, others may not be as diligent. Take steps to protect your rights to fair and proper compensation if you recently sustained injuries in a car accident.