As innocent as answering a quick text or reaching for something in the back seat while driving seems, distracted driving is a serious danger to be reckoned with. Simple distractions can compromise your driving abilities, resulting in catastrophic consequences. Here at Tow Pro, we’ve rounded up a few tips of things you can do to help stop distracted driving to promote safety, minimize distractions, and get you from point A to point B while looking out for yourself and all the other drivers and passengers on the road.
1. Put your phone away.
As great as you may believe you are at multitasking, it’s always best and safest to stow your phone away while on the road. Driving while trying to use your phone can be a serious detriment to your safety. It should be avoided unless in an emergency situation. But even in the event of an emergency, it is strongly advised that you pull off on the shoulder of the road to dial a number or answer a call. Using your phone while driving is also a violation of the law in many states, and you may be fined or ticketed for doing so.
2. If you need to sleep, pull over and sleep.
Drowsiness on the road is a recipe for disaster, and this is especially true when you’re on the highway and zoning out at high speeds. Getting off the road to take a nap and returning to driving when your senses are fully functional again is essential. Driving more rapidly to combat drowsiness will not make it any less dangerous to be on the road. Finding yourself nodding off more often than you’d like? Always pull off to sleep anyway. But also try getting more rest before setting off on your trips, eating more food, or splitting your trip into more short bouts of driving with breaks in between to rest and recharge.
3. Pre-plan your route.
Fiddling with your navigation system while you’re on the road can be as distracting as using your phone, and it should be avoided as much as possible. To minimize the amount of time that you spend setting up and programming your navigation system, pre-plan your route before setting off on your drive. This will enable you to safely navigate to your final destination with ease and help minimize distractions while driving.
4. Don’t reach for items that fall.
If something falls while you’re driving, ask one of your passengers to pick it up for you or don’t pick it up at all! Resisting the urge to reach for falling items is key. It’s super simple to swerve with one hand on the steering wheel while taking your eyes off the road to find the item or simply reaching around your vehicle to find the item. To avoid having this urge in the first place, make sure that any items that may potentially fall are securely stashed or fastened so that they won’t roll around or fall.
5. Minimize eating while driving.
Eat your snacks or meals before or after you drive so you don’t have to deal with the distraction of finding food and putting it into your mouth. Eating food occupies your hands and can be a very distracting ordeal, which is why it is not recommended while driving. Food spills can be distracting, and eating food in general may cause you to be less attentive to your surroundings and fellow drivers on the road.
Although it may seem counterproductive, focusing all your energy into driving while you’re driving is the best way to stay safe and avoid distractions that can compromise the lives of individuals commuting. In addition to these tips, Triple A also has some stellar tips on minimizing distracted driving that are worth checking out.
While distracted driving should be avoided at all costs, it can be a bit inevitable at times. But there’s always help that you can call in the event that an accident occurs. For 24/7 emergency roadside assistance, contact Tow Pro at 615.256.TOWS(8697) for experienced help. We’re here for you when things go south.