In recognition of Distracted Driving Awareness Month, it’s never too late to ditch potentially harmful habits and begin focusing more attention to your driving and other drivers on the road. According to the National Safety Council, about 47% of people are found comfortable texting while driving. However, did you know that there are several other factors that contribute to distracted driving besides cell phone operation? There is drowsiness, eating, looking after others, reading, and more. Distracted driving is the act of driving while engaged in other activities. This means any moment that your eyes are off the road or your hands are off the wheel, you are in danger. Read the tips provided below to learn how to avoid an act of distracted driving.
- Unplug yourself
Keep your electronic devices in an area where you are unable to see it light up for notifications. Make sure all your devices are on silent, not vibrate. Leave your Bluetooth hands-free device at home or beside your device. Hands-free does not mean risk free! If you’re expecting an important phone call, text message, or email, pull over and park in a safe location, away from traffic, to respond.
- Secure your belongings
Just like viewing certain things, hearing certain things can distract you from driving as well. Rustling and falling items can steal your attention from the road. Prevent that urge to peer into your backseat by securing your belongings before you get on the road. Avoid placing small objects on your lap, on the floor by your feet, or on the passenger side of the car.
- Fuel yourself
If your eyes are heavy and you’re feeling sleepy, it’s time to pull over in a safe location and rest until you feel completely ready to drive again. You should never drive when you’re too tired because ignoring your physical health is very dangerous. Aim to get the recommended amount of sleep, eat, prepare a water bottle and snack or anything else you need to wake up energized for your next drive.
It’s important to focus on your driving and others around you. Roadways and cars are becoming more enhanced and may seem more alluring to become fixated upon. However, when your mind wanders off, you put yourself and others in danger. It’s imperative to drive when you’re mentally and physically capable to do so. When you’re behind the wheel, the only thing that matters is to get to your destination safely.