Distracted driving has happened to almost every driver. Even the most diligent driver that avoids talking on their cellphone or eating breakfast on the go has probably been distracted at least once when driving. Taking an extra second to stare up at an exciting billboard on the highway is technically a form of distracted driving.
Ultimately, anything that takes a driver’s eyes and their focus off the road and their driving might be distracted driving. As such, just about every driver has been guilty of distracted driving at one point. However, there are inattentive driving actions worse than others.
It’s impossible to eliminate every possible distraction a driver might encounter while on the road. Curbing the more severe distracted driving and limiting distracted driving is possible, however. We’ll explore four ways to limit distracted driving.
- Put the Cell Phone Away
texting and driving is a huge distraction. Besides talking to friends or family, a phone has many distractions. The best thing to do is keep your phone out of reach and turn it off. While hands-free devices allow you to talk while driving, they may cause issues. If you need to make or take a call, pull off to the side of the road or into a parking lot.
- Give Yourself Plenty of Time
Multi-tasking is helpful, especially if you’re short on time. However, eating, grooming yourself, or searching for an essential item while driving may result in an accident. So, give yourself plenty of time before leaving. You should never speed or break other traffic laws like going through stop signs or red lights.
- Drive in the Right State of Mind
Besides distracted driving, there’s also drowsy driving and driving under the influence. However, you don’t need to be wholly exhausted or come late from a party to feel such effects.
Sometimes a long week makes us feel more tired than usual, even if we’re sticking to our regular sleeping schedule. Additionally, those two or three drinks at the bar might hit you harder than you expected.
You might not be in the right frame of mind for other reasons too. For example, maybe you just fought with a friend. If you don’t feel like you’re in the right state of mind, it’s probably not a good time to be driving. The solution might be simple: taking a deep breath, waiting a few minutes to an hour, or using other means of transportation.
- Be Mindful of Your Passengers
Being a parent is a hard job that’s made even harder when you have children fighting or playing in the backseat while you’re driving. Or if you don’t have children maybe you have friends that like listening to the music too loud and singing along. While there’s nothing wrong with a bit of fun or children being themselves (especially on a long road trip), sometimes there needs to be some order. A designated passenger that can help keep things balanced may go a long way.