6 Tips To Avoid Driving Distractions & Focus On The RoadPosted on Oct 30, 2018
Health ailments aren’t the only thing claiming lives. Studies have revealed that road-related deaths are becoming so common that they’ve reached epidemic levels.
According to research, approximately 9 Americans die each day from automobile accidents. In 2016, there were more than 40,000 road deaths, and the time frame between 2014 and 2015 represented the largest increase in highway-related deaths in 50 years. What’s more concerning, is that distracted driving is one of the top causes of automobile accidents.
From replying to a text message, turning the radio station, or eating a meal while behind the wheel, at some point many of us have been guilty of distracted driving — sometimes without even realizing we’re doing it.
Often, the daily “hustle and bustle” of life teaches people to multitask and be able to complete as many tasks as possible at once. However, this should not be the case when it comes to driving.
Remember, the first things a driver learns in driving school is always to keep their eyes on the road and the hands on the wheel. Yes, driving requires our full attention, whether here on a New Jersey highway or elsewhere in the nation or planet.
Check out these six tips for staying focused while on the roads.
1) Store Your Phone Out of Reach
Cell phone related auto accidents are becoming increasingly common. Some find it difficult to ignore notifications or phone calls. Storing your cell phone out of sight, such as inside the glove compartment, while driving can help decrease the temptation to use it. Setting your phone on do not disturb can also be helpful. In the event of an emergency, when it’s safe to do so, you should pull over and make your call.
Many drivers opt to use Bluetooth devices since they are hands-free and allow drivers to talk on the phone without having to hold a cell phone to their ear. However, these devices can still be a distraction and cause drivers to miss visual and audio cues while on the road.
2) Make Needed Adjustments Before Pulling Off
Before you turn the key and put the vehicle in drive, make all the needed adjustments before you pull into traffic. This includes making sure you adjust the driver’s seat and side and rear-window mirrors properly. Set up the GPS so that you’re not inputting an address while you’re driving. Put the heat or air conditioner on your desired temperature before stepping on the gas pedal. If you’re driving a rental car, be sure you take the time to learn where are the car’s important features are — and how to use them.
3) Avoid Taking the Wheel When Your Senses Are Impaired
It’s imperative to be alert while behind the wheel so that you can focus on visual and auditory signals such as sirens, flashing headlights or horns. That’s why you should never wear headphones while driving because it can prohibit you from hearing road indicators. Loud music blaring can also be a distraction so be mindful of this.
Also, you should make sure that you have full use of your vision. Make use of your vehicles visors and sunglasses on bright days. Keep the dashboard free from clutter so that your view isn’t obstructed. Clear off the windshields of snow, and make sure your defrosters are on if needed.
4) Secure the Kids and Pets
Whether you’re driving your pet to a vet appointment or dropping the kids off at school, make sure that everyone is safely secured. Failure to do so can create a distraction while driving. The kids should be buckled into their car seats and the dog secured in the designated area of the vehicle before you start to drive.
5) Limit The Number of Passengers When Possible
A car full of people may sound like a good time, but it can prevent you from being able to focus on the road. Your passengers should help you stay committed to focus on driving by being mindful of their behavior and providing assistance when needed. If you are a new driver or you tend to experience driving anxiety, it’s best to limit the number of passengers you have in your vehicle.
6) Pull Over When Necessary
No doubt, there will be calls or alerts that will demand your attention. When this happens is important to pull over right away so you can address the issue. Find a safe and legal spot to pull over when possible. If possible, avoid pulling over and parking on the shoulder.
Don’t be a statistic. It’s time to take a pledge to drive safe and be responsible behind the wheel. By following the tips outlined in this article, you can help make the road a safer place.