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Ways to Prevent Distracted Driving

| April 10, 2021, 08:00 AM


There are approximately six million auto accidents on American roads each and every year. Some of these accidents are relatively mild in nature, not causing too much damage or harm, but many are dangerous and even deadly, with thousands of people killed in traffic crashes and collisions, and countless more sent to hospitals with their injuries.

There can be many different causes of these accidents. Some are caused by difficult driving conditions like heavy rain or icy on the roads. Others are caused by drivers failing to follow the rules or allowing themselves to get behind the wheel. Then, there are the accidents caused by distracted driving.

Distracted driving causes many auto accidents every single year, and the most terrible part of all is that every single one of these accidents could have so easily been prevented if only the drivers in question were paying more attention to the road ahead of them and the vehicles around them than their phone, their car radio, or other items in their vehicles.

Sadly, countless Americans admit to checking their phones or letting themselves lose focus when driving, and this kind of behavior is what causes such a high number of accidents every single year. To help you reduce your own risks of falling victim to distracted driving, here are some top tips and techniques to keep in mind.

Make Use of Apps

These days, there’s an app for almost everything. We have apps for keeping in touch with family and friends, apps for streaming music and movies, apps to help us get around from place to place, and there are also a wide variety of safe driving apps that are specifically designed to help you stay safe on the roads, including some that minimize the risks of distractions occurring.

The way these apps work is simple: usually, they’ll put your phone into a silent mode, getting rid of any alerts for notifications and messages, and letting you simply focus on the road ahead of you without ever getting distracted by little lights or beeping sounds from your device. This can be of great assistance when it comes to keeping your concentration levels up.

Don’t Use Your Phone

Following on from the previous point, while it’s perfectly safe to set up a safe driving app before you actually start to drive, you should never actually use your phone while the vehicle is in motion, or even when stopped at red lights or stop signs. This is one of the most common causes of distracted driving accidents.

As stated earlier, a lot of Americans admit to using their phones while driving, and it can be so tempting to read a message, send a text, or check your social media feed while sitting behind the wheel, but it’s also incredibly risky. Don’t let yourself make the same mistake; put your phone to the side and only use it after you’ve safely pulled over or parked your car.

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Decide on a Designated Texter or Phone User

Now for one final point about smartphones. If you do happen to be driving with one or more other people in the car and you’re the sort of person who likes to keep in touch with family and friends or keep up with the latest news on your apps and social media services, then get one of your passengers to act as a ‘designated texter’ or ‘designated phone user’.

The concept is similar to picking a designated driver when visiting a bar with friends. Your designated texter will be the one to read and respond to text messages on your behalf if you need them to. This way, you can still keep in touch with people and send any urgent messages, but you’ll also remain fully in control of your vehicle, with your hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.

Don’t Get Mad

It’s a surprising but true fact that road rage and distracted driving are often linked, and statistics also show that road rage in some form plays a part in about a third of all auto accidents. Clearly, it’s something that needs to be taken seriously, and it’s something that you should do your best to avoid if you want to stay safe and keep your passengers protected.

It’s easy to get mad with other drivers if they fail to follow the rules, stop suddenly in front of you, or change lanes without warning. However, if you give in to that anger, you’ll basically be letting yourself become completely distracted with just one vehicle. This can lead to you failing to notice other hazards and road users around you, making you more likely to have an accident.

Try to Avoid Deep Discussions or Arguments

Driving with passengers in the car can be something of a double-edged sword, with both advantages and drawbacks. On the one hand, it’s great to have someone to talk to, as well as having a second or third set of eyes to look out of the windows, watch the road ahead, keep an eye out for hazards, and help you when making difficult turns or navigating tricky intersections.

On the other hand, passengers can also be quite distracting, as they’ll often talk to you throughout the journey. Having light chats and simple discussions is perfectly fine and can actually help you stay focused and alert, but if you start getting into deep discussions or even arguments with your passengers, you may find yourself getting too distracted and losing too much focus from the road. So try to avoid these kinds of talks and keep the discussion light and simple instead.

Distracted driving causes a huge number of auto accidents every year, but it is possible for drivers to start bringing that number down. Follow these tips and get the right approach to distracted driving to avoid becoming another statistic yourself, and never forget the importance of keeping your hands on the wheel and eyes on the road at all times.

Severn Bank

Category: Local News, NEWS

About the Author - Stephanie Maris

Stefanie is a local blogger and social media content marketer from Maryland and most recently a wife and a mother. She has an unhealthy obsession with puns, sarcasm and caffeinated beverages.

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