In 2018 alone, over two thousand people died in distraction-related car accidents, in the U.S. alone. Distracted driving is the number one cause of car accidents, and is a constant threat for all drivers, regardless of age or experience.
So how can you avoid distractions while driving, and how can you manage them when they (inevitably) appear? Read on to learn how to prevent distracted driving and keep yourself (and everyone else on the roads) safe.
1. Put Down The Phone
One of the most common distractions drivers face is their phone. With notifications blowing up your device, it’s easy to take your eyes off the road and lose track of what’s important.
To combat this, some states like Indiana have put “hands-free” laws into place. These laws make it illegal for a driver to even touch their phone while driving.
2. Be Well-Rested
Another common problem drivers face is a lack of energy. Sometimes the root cause is a late night right before a trip. Other times, drivers start to get sleepy during their trip or try to drive too far in one sitting.
No matter how it happens, drowsy driving can be just as unsafe as texting and driving. If you find yourself starting to doze off while driving, pull over and get some sleep.
3. Drive Sober
There’s no excuse for drunk driving, especially in the age of Uber, Lyft, and taxicabs. If you know you’ll be drinking, make sure to secure a designated driver so that you can get home safely.
If you find yourself without a designated driver for any reason, you have a few options. You can call a car service like Uber, hitch a ride with someone else, stay the night where you are, or wait it out until you’re sober enough to drive safely.
4. Pull Over to Eat
A lot of people don’t consider eating while driving to be a distraction, but make no mistake: food can be just as distracting as a cell phone. Finish your meal before getting behind the wheel to keep yourself safe.
(If you do have to eat while driving, try to choose something that’s less likely to make a mess. A spill can be unpleasant and extremely distracting on the road!)
5. Keep Pets and Children at Bay
Some of the most common distractions for drivers are other passengers in the car. This applies especially to children and pets, who have to be cared for and supervised constantly.
If you’re traveling with a pet, make sure you have the proper travel materials necessary to keep them from getting in the way of your driving (like a travel carrier or crate.) Kids should be safely buckled in before you head on your way.
6. Don’t Be Lulled into a False Sense of Security
A growing concern for distracted driving experts is the invention of self-driving and otherwise automated vehicles. A smart car accident could happen for a variety of reasons, but it is usually due to autopilot functions, hands-free phone use, or infotainment systems (like a built-in GPS or stereo system.)
How to Prevent Distracted Driving: Other Tips
There are too many potential causes of distracted driving to mention here. If you’re not sure how to prevent distracted driving in a particular situation, remember that it’s not possible to multitask and drive safely.
And, if you’ve been the victim of distracted driving, reach out to a lawyer for help. It’s never too late to get justice for you and your family.
Be sure to check out the rest of our articles for more helpful tips.