Tips for distraction-free driving
The other day, I was sitting at a stop light at a busy intersection. As I looked around, every driver’s head was down presumably looking at their phones. I’m guilty of doing that sometimes, thinking it’s not really dangerous because I’m not actually driving. But I know it’s best to keep my attention on the road at all times, even if I’m in standstill traffic.
To be the safest driver I can be, here are a few tips I follow that I’d like to share:
- Turn your phone off, silence it, or use features like “do not disturb” or auto replies that tell the sender you’re driving.
- Avoid hands-free talking, because it can still cause your mind to be somewhere else.
- Put passengers in charge of directions, changing the music, and replying to phone calls or texts on your behalf.
- If you don’t have a passenger, get everything sorted out before you put the car in drive: Your music, seat adjustments, GPS, etc.
- If you’re on a long trip and get hungry, stop somewhere to eat. Trying to drive and eat without spilling food everywhere takes your focus off the road. (Plus, ketchup stains on that white shirt is not a good look).
- Be aware of your surroundings and keep an eye out for pedestrians and cyclists.
- Store loose items so you’re not tempted to reach for them if they fall or are rolling around on the floor.
- Finish personal grooming in a mirror at home, not in the rearview mirror.
- Make sure kids and pets are secured before driving. If you need to tend to them, pull over in a safe place first.