Distracted driving is a serious public health issue that affects the safety of everyone. Unfortunately, the latest statistics show that fatalities caused by motor vehicle accidents are up six percent from 2015. Since 2017, more than 40,000 people have been killed in car accidents across the United States. According to the National Safety Council, this is the most dramatic increase of fatal accidents in the last 53 years. Sadly, distracted driving contributed to many of these fatal accidents.
From talking on your cell phone to checking twitter while driving, there are many behaviors that can distract drivers and create a deadly accident. Although many of us are aware that distracted driving is a serious problem, fatal accidents caused by distracted drivers continue to persist. If we do not acknowledge the risk we take when we let our eyes stray away from the road, preventable deaths will continue to accumulate.
In light of national distracted driving month, here are some tips that can help you stay focused on the road and prevent a fatal car accident from occurring:
TIPS TO AVOID DISTRACTED DRIVING
- Keep Your Eyes Focused on the Road: You should always stay alert whenever you are driving. Actively look out for other vehicles traveling near you, and keep a lookout for pedestrians crossing the road. Watch out for cyclists who share the roadways as well. If you are backing your vehicle up or changing lanes, make sure to check your mirrors and look over your shoulder.
- Situate Yourself Before You Drive: It is important that you make yourself feel comfortable before you begin to drive your vehicle. Adjust your mirrors, seats, radio, and air conditioning settings when you first get into your vehicle. Do not wait until you are already driving to adjust these things. You should also input your travel destination into any navigation devices you use before getting on the road.
- Don’t Let Passengers Distract You: Passengers who speak loudly or move around a lot can be very distracting to a driver. Tell any passengers who are in your vehicle to sit quietly and remain still while you are on the road. Ensure that every passenger in your vehicle has their seatbelts on while your vehicle is moving. If you have crying children with you, wait until you can pull over safely to check on them.
- Avoid Eating or Drinking While Driving: If you have food or drinks with you, wait until you are off the road to begin indulging in them. If you are picking up or delivering a large quantity of food or drinks, make sure they are secured in a safe place that won’t require you to constantly check on them.
- Secure Loose Objects in Your Vehicle: Make sure you have stored any loose objects before you start your drive. Loose objects can sometimes get stuck underneath your brake or gas pedal. When you are forced to pick up a loose object while driving, it forces you to move your eyes from the road.
- Never Multitask While Driving: Don’t attempt to perform numerous tasks while you are supposed to be driving a vehicle. This includes searching for music, using a GPS navigator, and using a cell phone while you are driving.
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