These days, you hear a lot about the dangers of distracted driving. Thanks to modern gadgets like cell phones, distracted driving has become a big problem on roadways in Oregon and across the country. And it’s not only cell phones — today’s drivers face an abundance of potential distractions every time they get in their vehicle. The reality is that most drivers participate in distracted driving nearly every single day.
You may think it’s possible to multitask while you drive, but this is a complete myth. When you are driving, it is your responsibility to stay focused and keep you, your passengers and others on the road safe. Tragically, distracted driving is responsible for thousands of fatal car accidents every year in the United States. The following strategies may help you avoid distracted driving so you can arrive safely to your destination.
Prepare ahead of time
Making the proper preparation ahead of time is one of the best ways for you to avoid distracted driving. If you are using a GPS to navigate, plan your route to familiarize yourself and set your GPS before you take to the road. Also, it may be a good idea to let your employer and friends know when you are traveling and express to them the need to limit your phone usage while driving.
Put your phone away
Cell phones are the most common source of distractions while driving. Put your phone away while driving, or set it to “Do Not Disturb” mode so you are not tempted to check notifications. If you need to stay updated on incoming calls or messages, most modern vehicles will allow you to pair your phone to the vehicle via Bluetooth, which will allow you to keep your hands on the wheel.
Eat before driving
Many people do not consider eating a source of distracted driving, but it is. Eating requires you to take your attention off the road. Eat before you take to the road. This will help you stay energized and reduce the temptation to snack while driving.
Secure children and pets
Driving with children and pets can be a challenge, especially if they are not secure in their seats. Make sure kids are in the appropriate car seats and pets are in carriers and not roaming free in the cabin. Pack games and snacks for the children to keep them occupied and avoid fidgety distractions.
Commit to driving
Before you hit the road, fully commit to driving, and make a promise to yourself to never attempt to multitask. Take time to groom yourself, put on makeup or eat before you leave home. However, if you absolutely must complete a task while you are driving, always pull over in a safe location. Unfortunately, no matter how careful you are while driving, it is impossible to control the actions of other drivers or predict what another driver will do. If you are injured in a car accident caused by the negligence of another driver, you have options available that may help you in the aftermath.