How to Avoid Becoming a Distracted Driver

shutterstock_94203646There are a thousand and one things that could become distractions while you drive, ranging from your cell phone to small children, or even pets, in the car with you. While some of these distractions can be avoided, such as turning off your phone before you drive, there are those that are a part of everyday life. For those distractions that cannot be avoided, it is important to learn how to effectively handle them. In this way, they will not constitute a major risk to you as you drive. The consequences of being a distracted driver can be disastrous both to you and to your passengers. These tips will help you become a more focused driver.

Do not Use Your Cell Phone While Driving

Using your cell phone while driving is prohibited in most states. It is important to check what the law says about using your phone in your vehicle in your state. Even if it is not prohibited, you should never use your cell phone while driving except in an emergency. If there is an emergency, you should pull over to the shoulder of the road or find a parking spot before making a call. This advice goes for hands free calls as well, as they are a major source of distraction while driving. As many of us already know, texting while driving is a huge distraction that could make you take your attention off the road for a few seconds. This has resulted in tragedy in many cases. Subsequently, there are now many anti-texting and driving movements around the nation.

Do not Eat and Drink While Driving

If you are a busy person and always in a hurry, you might be tempted to grab a quick bite and eat as you drive. This is usually a major source of distraction while driving for many Americans. Spills can cause loss of attention and take your mind off the road, which is always dangerous and can be deadly. As much as possible, carve out a few moments in your day to sit and eat. It is your responsibility to fellow motorists to be a responsible and diligent driver.

Take note of your passengers

When there are many passengers in your car, or there is a lot of activity going on, it could easily distract you from driving. This is usually the case when there are children, or many teens together in one car. Little passengers tend to be really active and demanding of attention, which means that your attention will most likely be divided between driving and the kids. If you must drive with toddlers in your car, strap them into their car seats and place them at the back seat. Keep their attention focused on an activity such as drawing or coloring, in which they will be less demanding of your attention. It is advised that teenagers and new drivers should drive solo. As a matter of fact, most licensing laws do not allow teen drivers to have teenage passengers in the car as this can be a huge distraction, especially as they are just learning the rules of the road.

It is crucial to avoid becoming a distracted driver and becoming yet another tragic statistic. Maintain your eyes, but especially your mind, on the road at all times. Make sure you are well rested before you get behind the wheel, and if you feel tired or sleepy, pull over and get some rest. Mani, Ellis & Lane state that a serious injury can mean months of treatment and care, surgeries, and rehabilitation with no possibility of being able to work and earn a living. Consider these risks carefully and become a better driver by implementing better habits.


What tips can you share to help drivers keep their focus on the road?