There are millions of auto accidents in the US every single year, and they can have many different causes. Some are caused by drivers operating their vehicles while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, for instance, while others may be caused by simple negligence or recklessness, or drivers failing to follow the rules of the road.
There are also countless accidents, deaths, and injuries that are caused by one single problem: distracted driving. This is a major problem in America today, affecting countless drivers across the country, and part of the problem is that, in this modern world, there are more distractions in cars than ever before.
Smartphones, GPS devices, in-car entertainment systems, A/C adjustments, and other distractions inside the vehicle can all take your attention away from the road. You might also get distracted by billboards or looking at accidents as you drive by, or you might simply lose focus while thinking of other things. Either way, here are some tips to help you avoid this dangerous problem.
Do Your Research
A good way to start off in your own personal battle against distracted driving is to actually do some research and realize how dangerous it can be. When questioned on the matter, a lot of American drivers admit to using their phones and many say that they don’t think it’s a particularly big deal, because they aren’t aware of the real risks.
When you look at the data and realize just how many accidents, injuries, and even fatalities are associated with distracted driving, you can start to understand the full scale of this problem. Then, once you know how serious it is, you might have more motivation to be extra careful in your own daily driving journeys, avoiding distractions to keep yourself and others safe.
Pull Over Safely Before Engaging with Any Big Distractions
A lot of distracted driving accidents happen when people engage with things like cell phones or in-car devices like the GPS or entertainment system. It’s perfectly understandable that you might want to make some adjustments to your car’s GPS or take an urgent call, but if you want to do any of these things, you should stop the vehicle safely first.
Trying to take a call, read a text message, adjust your GPS settings, or choose a track on your car’s entertainment system can all take a huge amount of your attention and focus away from the road. So if you want to carry out any of these kinds of activities, or any other sort of “big distraction”, then try to be patient and find a place to pull over beforehand.
Consider a Safety App to Help Out
Phones can be some of the worst distractions in your car, and as stated above, a lot of people admit to using their phones while driving. However, if you use them correctly, phones can also be great safety gadgets to not only improve your chances of staying safe and avoiding accidents but also improving your driving skills and habits in general too.
There are a wide range of safe driving apps you can download and install onto your Android or iOS phone, and many of these apps are available for free too. They can help out in various ways, from silencing your phone’s alerts to sending out automatic responses if anyone texts to let them know that you’re driving. Some apps can even track your driving performance and issue alerts if you get distracted or use the phone.
Keep Your Car Tidy
Another top tip when it comes to avoiding distracted driving is to keep your car clean and tidy at all times. This might seem strange at first. After all, how can an untidy car make you more distracted? Well, if a car isn’t cleaned up and organized properly, little items can start to gather on the floors and elsewhere around the vehicle.
Then, when you start to drive, these items can start rolling around and causing little sounds and distractions that may take your attention away from the road. You may have experienced this yourself if you ever tried driving while some loose change is rattling around under your seat or an old water bottle is rolling back and forth on every turn. Keeping the car tidy will help you avoid these annoying noises and objects.
Distracted driving is a serious problem on American roads, but if you follow these tips and start making some new efforts, you can be part of the solution, rather than the problem.