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Breaking the Habit: Tips for Overcoming Distracted DrivingTess
Distracted driving is a common habit many of us develop over time that can lead to accidents, injuries, and possible death. The habit of distracted driving can be talking on the phone, texting, changing the radio station, eating, drinking, or even daydreaming. Anything that takes your mind off the road is a potential distraction. The use of cell phones is considered the most distracting habit. April is distracted driving month so below we have put together some tips for overcoming distracted driving.
1. Plan Ahead
At times, we get distracted because we are not focusing on the road. With this in mind, the first step we should complete when going from one place to the next is planning ahead with a GPS. If you set your destination in the GPS before you take off on your journey, it will help you stay focused on the task at hand.
2. Hide your Phone
Having your phone in plain sight could cause you to easily grab it to check an email, text message, or scroll through social media. We are creatures of habit so picking up your phone to one of these things would be normal for us. Placing your phone in a secure, out-of-sight, or reach position can help you stay less distracted and safe.
3. Secure any Loose Objects
When items move around or fall onto the floor you are tempted to look away from the wheel and grab the moving object. Securing the item beforehand is a simple way to avoid any distractions while you’re on the road.
4. Avoid Eating and Drinking
Another form of distraction is eating or drinking while driving. These two types of activities require you to let go of the wheel at some point and break your eyes on the road. Taking a break to stop at a safe location to eat or drink is the smartest decision you can do to avoid distracting driving.
5. Be Mindful and Take Breaks
Staying mindful when you are driving by paying attention to your surroundings is extremely essential in avoiding distracting driving. Likewise, being aware of road conditions such as pedestrians, other drivers, and road conditions is also crucial for staying safe on the road. If you are attempting a long drive, taking breaks to stretch your legs and get fresh air will help you stay alert and focused while you are on the road.
6. Never Drive Drowsy
Many drivers make the mistake of getting on the road after a long day or work shift. Drowsy driving is a factor in more than 100,000 crashes each year according to the NHTSA. Finding a safe place to rest or taking a major break off the road can help prevent future car accidents.
In conclusion, distracted driving is a dangerous habit that can have serious consequences. Whether it’s talking on the phone, texting, eating, or daydreaming, any form of distraction can increase the risk of accidents, injuries, and even death. By planning ahead with a GPS, hiding your phone, securing loose objects, avoiding eating and drinking, staying mindful, and taking breaks, you can reduce the likelihood of distracted driving. April is distracted driving month, it’s a good time to remember these tips and make a conscious effort to stay focused on the road for the safety of yourself and others on the road. Remember, it only takes a split second of distraction to cause a life-changing event, so stay vigilant and drive safely.