Seven Top Tips to Avoid Distracted Driving
April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Safety agencies have joined forces to raise awareness to a menace on our roads. The rapid growth of smartphones and other smart technology has fueled the number of deaths and injuries from distracted drivers.
In 2015, distracted driving claimed 3,477 lives on the roads of America, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
It can be a real challenge to avoid driving distracted. Here are seven safety tips.
1 Hide Your Smart Phone and Turn it Off
Put your smartphone in your car’s glove compartment or somewhere else where you can’t reach it while you are driving. Turn it off so as it’s not a distraction. In Virginia, it’s illegal to text and drive. Alternatively, give it to a passenger.
2 Build in Stops to Check Your Device
If you are on a long journey, build in stops when you can look at your device and answer any texts or emails when you are safely parked. Building in stops can also counter fatigued driving.
3 Secure Animals and Children
Unsecured pets can be a major cause of distracted driving. Ideally, there should be a solid barrier between a pet and the driver. If your children need attention, pull over and stop before helping them.
4 Pre-Plan Your Route
Don’t plug your route into your GPS or talk into a device when you are on the road. Make sure your GPS is set up before you leave and don’t glance at it while driving.
5 Snack Smart
Aim to eat when you stop rather than on the go. Hot drinks can spill causing you to lose control while reaching for food and unwrapping it can mean you are not fully focused on the road.
6 Do Your Grooming at Home
We’ve all had that situation when we get up late. We may be still dressing as we get into our car to go to work or at least be grooming or running a brush through our hair. Grooming can be a major cause of morning crashes. It’s better to show up to work late or disheveled than to get hurt in an accident. Your rear view mirror is for checking for traffic behind you, not checking your hair or makeup.
7 Store Loose Gear
Items that are moving around your car may be a major distraction. It’s difficult to concentrate on the road when a potted plant has fallen over on the back seat. Your attempts to stabilize it may cause you to lose control of your car. Make sure loose items are properly stored before you get on the road.
Drive carefully. If you have been injured by a distracted driver, call our Virginia car crash injury lawyers for a free consultation at (757) 333-3333.