Distracted driving is a serious issue, taking many lives every year. All accidents caused by distraction are preventable, just like drunk driving accidents. That, in many ways, is the most tragic part of this whole situation. None of these accidents needed to happen. None of those lives needed to be lost.
With that in mind, here are some tips to help you avoid distraction in the car:
1. Don’t leave loose items in the car
A lot of distracted driving accidents happen when people reach to pick up items on the floor. It could be a cellphone charger, a water bottle, an old coffee cup or anything else. The key is to put everything away before you drive. Stash all loose items in pockets and compartments. Throw away garbage and other things you don’t need. If you drop something while driving, do not pick it up until you stop.
2. Turn off your phone
The real key is simply not to use your phone while you drive. Don’t make calls, send text messages, check for notifications or go on social media. However, many people have a lot of trouble breaking their phone addiction, and they can’t resist picking it up. Simply turning it off until you arrive can help tremendously.
3. Set up your car before driving
You should never have to make adjustments while you drive. Do them in advance. For instance, you may want to:
- Adjust the side mirrors
- Adjust the rearview mirror
- Buckle your seatbelt
- Program your GPS
- Turn on the AC or the heat
- Pick a radio station
Once you start driving, you do not want to look away from the road at all.
4. Clear your mind
Many distractions are simply mental distractions. You think about what you need to do at work. You worry about problems in a relationship. You brood over some slight or insult. Never drive while you feel overly emotional. Clear your mind, calm down and then get on the road.
5. Care for your children
If you have kids in the car, make sure they’re ready to go before driving. Buckle them in. Give them drinks and snacks. Hand them their toys. Turn on a movie on the phone or tablet. Whatever you choose to do with the kids in the car, do not try to turn around and do it while you drive. Children are one of the biggest distractions drivers have to deal with.
These tips can help you avoid distraction, but that doesn’t mean it’s no longer a problem. If you get hit and injured by a distracted driver, you may need to seek financial compensation for your medical bills, lost wages and other costs.