Traffic stats and independent research conclude that distracted driving is a big problem and it’s getting worse. The good news is that most distractions behind the wheel are preventable. All it takes is mindfulness and small changes in behaviour.
Here’s what you can do to make driving safer for you and everyone else on the road.
1. Put your phone on silent and out of reach. Zip it up inside your bag and put it in the back seat, or place your phone in the glove compartment.
2. Enable Do Not Disturb on your phone. Some phones can sense when you’re driving, stopping notifications, and even send auto-reply texts. How to use Do Not Disturb While Driving for iPhone. If your phone runs on Google’s operating system, learn more about Do Not Disturb mode for Android devices or download a Do Not Disturb While Driving app.
3. Do personal grooming at home.
4. Eat meals or snacks before you leave or when you arrive.
5. Create a music or podcast playlist and set up navigation settings before driving.
6. Find a safe place to pull over and stop if you need to make a call or text. Same thing applies when attending to a child or pet in the vehicle.
7. Limit the amount of activity in the vehicle. Boisterous friends and loud music can take your attention off the road. Enlist your passengers’ help so you can focus solely on driving.
8. Take a break from driving at least every two hours. This will keep you more alert and give you a chance to check your phone if necessary. If you feel drowsy, pull over and rest immediately.
Want to Know More About Distracted Driving?
Learn strategies on how to stop this dangerous habit. Register today for AMA’s online Distracted Driver course.
Want to test your driver knowledge? Take our distracted driving quiz and see how you stack up.