In the US, distracted driving contributes to nearly 50% of all car accidents
reported each year. It only takes a second for a distracted driver to
take his/her eyes away from the road and collide with another vehicle,
motorcycle, or even a pedestrian. Since some drivers are reluctant to
admit fault, many traffic experts ascertain that this statistic is grossly
underreported. Distracted driving accidents can often be serious and cause
permanent injuries or death.
Being a safe driver can be as easy as implementing a few simple defensive
driving behaviors until they become second nature. Every driver can take
a few simple active steps to help reduce distracted driving accidents
on the road.
Tips to help you Play your Part in Reducing Driving Distractions
Put Down the Smartphones: Refrain from using your phone for reasons like texting, talking, emailing
or browsing the internet while driving. Even while using a hands-free
device, limit conversations or only talk if the call is very important.
Research has shown that focus on a conversation can still pull a driver’s
attention away from the road. Alternately, simply turn off your phone
before you drive so you won’t be tempted to use it while on the
road. Always pull over to a safe place to use your phone.
Avoid Losing Focus and Prevent Driver Fatigue: Get at least 8 hours of sleep every night and don’t drive if you’re
sleep deprived. Work on keeping your attention on the road ahead and avoid
thinking ahead or worrying about plans while driving. On long drives,
make it a point to take breaks to rest your eyes.
Make Passengers Part of a Buddy System: An adult passenger riding along with you can help with awareness of your
surroundings and broaden your ability to watch the road. An active, responsible
passenger can actually reduce the risk of a traffic accident according to the
National Safety Council. It’s important to ask a passenger to help you with activities that
may be distracting.
Implement Better Time Management and Plan Ahead: Rushing tends to cause driver distraction, aggressive driving, and taking
unnecessary risks behind the wheel. Whenever possible, leave a few minutes
early so you can arrive at your destination stress-free. Get ready for
work before getting in your car. Fixing your hair, applying makeup or
tying a necktie are much safer when they’re done at home.
Exercise Discipline over Roadside Distractions: If you happen to pass by a disabled vehicle or an accident scene, keep
your eyes focused ahead. Refrain from glancing over to get a look at the
scene, especially while your vehicle is in motion. The same goes for flashy
roadside sign-spinners or other extraordinary tactics designed to grab
the attention of passing motorists. It only takes a split second of distraction
to create your own accident scene.