Preventing Distracted Driving Accidents
2 minute read time
Distracted driving can be dangerous – even deadly. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving claimed 3,142 lives in 2020.
Before you make a phone call, have a snack, or look for a lost item in your car, keep in mind you may be putting yourself and other drivers in danger. Distracted driving can be classified as anything that takes your attention away from safe driving. Any time your mind or eyes leave the road, you may be preoccupied, increasing your risk of getting into an accident with other vehicles or pedestrians.
3,142 People Killed by Distracted Driving
Prevent distracted driving with these tips:
- Store or silence your phone. Avoid texting or talking on your phone while driving. If you need to take a phone call, make sure to use a hands-free device, such as Bluetooth.
- Save conversations for later. Ensure conversations with passengers or the number of passengers in your car are not distracting. Encourage passengers to remind you to talk about the discussion later.
- Set your music before departing. Tune in to your favorite radio station or set up your playlist, audiobook or podcast before you leave. Only adjust when you are completely stopped.
- Secure your pets. Never allow pets to sit on your lap or roam around the car while you are driving.
- Eat before you leave. Don’t eat, drink or smoke while driving, as it can take your attention off the road.
- Plan your route before leaving. Avoid reading maps or directions as you drive. Instead, pull into a parking lot to determine where you need to go next.
- Organize your car. Keeping your car organized reduces the need to search for items while you are driving. Do not search for lost or loose items while driving.
- Commit to driving. It can be easy to let your mind wander while driving. Pay attention to the road ahead and expect the unexpected by practicing defensive driving.
- Take a break. If you feel tired, park in a safe place and rest.
- Tell others you'll be on the road. Reduce the need to respond to calls and texts by letting your colleagues and loved ones know you'll be driving and unable to respond.
Common driver distractions
- Texting. One of the worst distractions while driving, texting requires your eyes, hands and attention.
- GPS and maps. Similar to texting, using GPS or reading a map for directions will take your hands, eyes and focus away from driving.
- Eating. Eating food or drinking a beverage can take your attention away from driving.
- Talking. Avoid turning your head to talk to or listen to other passengers in the vehicle, especially if you're engaged in an intense conversation.
- Radio. Adjusting your radio or music may distract you. Setting up a playlist can be as distracting as texting.
- Daydreaming. Resist the temptation to look at billboards, scenic views or think about things to get done at home. Stay focused on the road.
- Attending to children or pets. Children or pets can distract you with their needs. Wait to respond until you are parked.
Keeping your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road can save lives and prevent avoidable accidents.
Advisors at Johnson Financial Group are here to help you understand your coverage and the best way to protect you and your family. Contact an advisor today if you have any questions about distracted driving or your insurance coverage.
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