Distracted driving is a leading cause of accidents on the road. In 2017, it claimed more than 3,166 lives. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, about 660,000 people are using mobile phones and other gadgets while driving on any given day.
As a parent, it's your responsibility to keep yourself and your children safe while in the car. It takes just one wrong move to get in a crash and lose your life.
Most states have laws that ban texting and talking on the phone while driving. Few people comply, though. In fact, 37 percent of young drivers feel pressured to respond to work-related messages while on the road, according to a recent survey.
Don't make this mistake! Check out these handy tips on how to prevent distracted driving and keep your family safe.
While texting isn't the only form of distracted driving, it's extremely common among all age groups. To stay safe, put your phone away when you're behind the wheel.
Before getting in your car, think about what calls or texts you need to send. For example, if you're facing a tight deadline at work, your manager might call to ask for updates. Reach out to him before you begin your trip.
Prepare everything you need for the trip in advance, including a list of hotels and gas stations. Make sure you know where you're going and how to get there. This way, you won't have to check your phone while driving.
If you need to buy some snacks, pull over into a parking spot and check local directories, food websites, or maps. Don't it while driving. It's simply not worth the risk.
Keep distractions to a minimum while on a road. Wait until the car is stopped before eating or drinking, changing the radio, or setting the AC system.
If you're going on a trip with your family, seek ways to keep the children busy. Give them a coloring book or a toy and ask them to be silent. Reward good behavior with snacks, stickers, and other cool items.
The whole point is to avoid distractions, whether it's using the GPS system, using the phone, applying lipstick, or reaching for something. Anything could happen if you're eyes are leaving the road for just a second.
Avoid driving when you're stressed, depressed, or nervous. If you must use the car, leave your problems at home. Cognitive distractions like thinking about problems at work or daydreaming while behind the wheel can be fatal.
Sometimes, car accidents are unavoidable — it might not even be your fault. In this case, reach out to a lawyer asap. Depending on your location, call a local attorney, such as those at The Cagle Law Firm, to file a claim and receive legal help.
Educate Yourself on How to Prevent Distracted Driving
Now that you know more about how to prevent distracted driving, take the steps needed to keep yourself and your family safe while on the road.
Put down the cell phone, silence all notifications, and create a pre-trip checklist. Rely on your passengers to adjust climate controls, make phone calls, and help you find directions.
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