From texting and scrolling through social media to driving while fatigued or under the influence, there are countless distractions that take our minds and eyes away from the road. Each day in the United States, approximately nine people are killed and more than 1,000 injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver.
April is recognized as Distracted Driving Awareness Month, which gives us the opportunity to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving. All of the “it was just a glance” or “it was just one drink” or “I needed to reply” excuses for taking your attention from the road are not worth the risks and consequences of a car accident.
Here are 7 ways to cut distractions from your commute and just drive:
- Turn off your phone, put it out of reach, or use the “do not disturb” setting: Taking these measures will help you avoid interruptions from any notifications and the temptation to check your phone. You can also block out driving time on your calendar or set automatic responses to let people know you’ll be driving.
- Program your route before you leave: Need directions? Enter the address into your GPS before hitting the road. Be sure to turn the volume on and position the device where you can easily see it without taking your eyes off the road.
- Stop using your hands-free device: While using a hands-free device keeps your hands on the wheel, studies show that talking on the phone reduces your field of vision and your ability to process moving imagery. If you need to take or make a call, find a safe place to pull over.
- Pullover to eat: Eating and driving can be just as dangerous as texting and driving. Make a pit stop at a rest area or restaurant if you need a bite to eat.
- Turn down your music: Keep the stereo volume low enough to be aware of your surroundings. Loud music can cause you to lose focus on the road or miss other potential warning signs of an accident.
- Don’t drive fatigued: Driving while fatigued raises your chance of a crash by increasing reaction time and impairing your ability to make quick decisions. Be sure you are well-rested before hitting the road.
- Get ready at home: Doing your hair or makeup while driving might save you a few minutes in the morning, but it could cost you your life. Finish getting ready at home or at your workplace.
Join The Prewitt Group as we raise awareness of these distracted driving dangers, make adjustments to your driving routine, and pledge to drive free from distractions today.