Distracted driving is one of the main causes for automotive accidents and deaths in the U.S. Being a distracted driver is not only dangerous to you, as the driver, but to your passengers as well as everyone else on the road. There are countless stories all around the nation that make it into the news regarding car accidents and distracted drivers.
We all know that there are many variables in life that can easily distract us from keeping our eyes on the road. Here are some tips, in no particular order, to help you stay focused and alert while driving on the road.
1 – Seatbelts and Crates
Before putting your car into drive, make sure that any small children or animals are securely in place. First of all, it’s the law that children are to be buckled into a car seat or booster seat until they are at least 8 years old. (Check your various state for the specific child safety restraint law, however, your child’s safety should be at the utmost concern regardless of the law.) The distraction of having an animal roaming around the car is very serious. Dogs and cats alike are known for wanting your attention at the most inconvenient times. Driving is one of the most dangerous times for them to be sitting on your lap, albeit fun and cute for fluffy, consider your life and theirs to be more serious. By securing your pet in the back of the car inside of a crate is going to minimize their distraction and help you get to your destination more safely, for you, for them and for others.
2 – No Phones
The number one thing that distracts drivers is using their cell phones. Whether it’s texting, playing games, or talking on the phone; all of these things are a major safety hazard to you and everyone driving around you. Making it a rule to not use your phone while driving is the safest and perhaps the most life-saving rule you could have for yourself. There is no text or call that is worth risking your life over while in the car.
3 – Assign a DJ
No one would blame you for wanting to listen to music in the car, but messing with the radio (or GPS) is a major distraction to the driver. If you have a passenger, allow them to be the one in charge of the radio to keep the tunes fresh.
4 – Adjustments
Those who share vehicles know this all too well, that you need to adjust the seat, mirrors and steering wheel each time you trade off with another person in a shared car. Doing all of the mirror adjustments before you head out on your journey will help you be the most prepared for the road. Trying to get the correct angle for each of your mirrors while on the road can distract you and cause you to look away from the road in front of you. Plus, you never know when you will need them, as it goes that the majority of accidents occur close to home, so be sure to have your car adjustments prior to leaving home.
5 – Know Your Way
If you are going to a destination that you are unfamiliar with, it is best that you briefly familiarize yourself with the directions and the map of how to get there. This goes even if you are using a GPS to guide you along the way. Make sure you have the address programmed into your navigation device before you depart, to eliminate taking your eyes off of the road and to guide you correctly from the start.
Both adults and teens can be and are distracted drivers. Teens are less skilled at driving and need to be more aware than ever so remove all possible obstacles to get them to arrive safely. By making driving safely a priority in your life you will make the roads a much safer place one car at a time.
Should you have any questions about your vehicle insurance (car or motorcycle) or any other type of insurance, feel free to call Paula Smith Insurance at (281) 488-8880 or complete our Contact Us form on the right hand side of our website and we will be happy to provide you a free review of your insurance coverage for you.