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In our day and age, whether you are hanging out with friends or just sitting at home by yourself, becoming distracted is an easy task. Unfortunately, being distracted can change a person’s life in a matter of seconds when driving. While simple tasks like changing the radio station and talking to a passenger may seem like it won’t affect your driving, in fact you are exposing yourself, passengers, and other drivers on the road to potential harm. The US Government has a website dedicated to Distracted Driving, where information is readily available for teens, parents, employers and anyone that would like to educate themselves about being distracted while driving. The US Officials define distracted driving as any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the task of driving.
Before we go into tips on how to help prevent distracted driving, we are going to list the most common activities used while driving.
Common activities include:
- The use of a cell phone (texting or calling)
- Eating and drinking
- Talking to passengers
- Reading, including maps
- Using a navigation system
- Adjusting a radio
Any of these activities and many more can distract you while being behind the wheel and it only takes a second to be in a situation nobody wants to be in. To help keep the roads safer, here are several tips to keep in mind while driving.
- Never call or text while driving. If it is necessary, pull off the road to a safe location where you won’t have to focus on driving. If you’re in a situation where you have to make a call and you’re unable to pull over, use voice –activated dialing. It’s safe to say that dialing manually while driving is just as bad as texting while driving. If someone is trying to contact you, let your voice mail pick up and check it when you can safely.
- Know where you are going! If you are using a navigation system, put in the destination before you are on the road and use the audio setting to avoid having to look at the screen. If you have a map, make sure you study the route before leaving or if you have a passenger, let them be your guide.
- Do these things later or before driving. Don’t take notes while driving. If you have to write something down, try using an audio recorder, but not the one on your phone. Remember that we are trying to prevent you from taking your eyes off the road. Groom yourself at home. Looking in the mirror to comb or brush your hair can lead to a disaster. And eating or drinking while driving can take both your hands and eyes off the road. If you’re hungry, stop and dine in. It truly doesn’t take that much longer.
It is important for all drivers to understand what can happen when you become distracted behind the wheel. Focus is key and making it safely from point A to B is the goal that everyone needs to make as a priority.