When we say, “distracted driving,” what comes to mind? Texting? Eating? Daydreaming? Doing your makeup?
Any activity that causes you to lose focus while on the road is considered distracted driving.
RELATED READ: The 3 types of distracted driving.
To help keep your attention where it needs to be, follow these five hacks to help you reach your destination safely and on time.
- Plug in your GPS route before hitting the road.
Aside from taking phone calls and answering text messages, one of the most common reasons a driver is on their cell phone is to look at their map for directions. To avoid any distractions, plan your route before stepping on the gas. In doing so, you can familiarize yourself with roads you will be using, which can reduce worry and distraction caused from anxiety. Use technology to take this one step further and utilize Bluetooth to allow for audible directions. Nothing beats a turn-by-turn plan of action!
- Use Bluetooth for your benefit.
As mentioned in our previous hack, recent innovations in voice command devices can help ease your state of mind behind the wheel. It's quickly become standard practice for car manufacturers to install Bluetooth capabilities into newer model “infotainment” systems. Pairing your phone to your vehicle allows you to put the phone out of sight. You’ll be able to pull over to take an emergency call that you absolutely must answer. But the safest option of all is to simply turn your phone off until you’re done driving.
- Think about Apple CarPlay®, Siri® and Android Auto™.
Many automakers are incorporating technologies that not only feel more comfortable for drivers but are also safer. You can now activate Apple CarPlay or Android Auto by plugging in your Apple or Android phone to a connecting USB port. That means eyes don’t need to leave the road to play a favorite song or change a podcast. But, as we said before, if you really want to be a focused driver, the best bet is to turn your phone off.
- Utilize driver services.
The ultimate distraction from the road is not being sober behind the wheel. Always have a designated driver, and if you don't, you can easily hail a ride from driving companies like Uber and Lyft by downloading their apps to your phone. These companies track all drivers up to the second, showing ratings, how close or far away they are from your current destination point, and more.
- Remember general phone tips for drivers.
- Out of sight, out of mind. Put your phone in the glovebox, middle compartment, or another place where you won’t be tempted to reach for it. Better yet, turn it off before you put it away.
- If you must leave your phone on during your trip, set it to airplane mode before you drive. While in this mode, no calls, texts, emails or outside communication can distract you.
- Resist the urge. Don’t take a quick bite of food, send a quick text or snap a quick selfie at red lights. Not only will you be looking away from the road, distracting yourself, but you will also be a danger to those around you.
If you practice these tips, you’ll not only help make the roads safer for yourself but also for everyone else. Take the pledge to not drive distracted and let us know what's worth it to you!