Distracted driving is becoming more of a problem every day, and the biggest reason is the prevalence of smart phones. Each day, over a thousand people in the U.S. are injured in accidents caused by distracted driving, and many of them are deadly. As we rely more on smart phones for communication, navigation / GPS, playing music, and more, it is important that drivers refrain from using their phones while driving. Here is a list of common distractions that can be caused by your phone, and how to avoid them.
Texting while driving is one of the leading causes of accidents, and it has been suggested that even knowing that you have a text can be a distraction. It isn’t realistic to turn off your cell phone every time you get behind the wheel, but know that being on your phone can greatly increase your chance of causing an accident, and wait until you are done driving to read and respond to your texts. If you need to, pull over somewhere and take a break from driving to use your phone. It isn’t worth getting in an accident over.
Long gone are dashboard mounted GPS devices. Many people are now just using their phones to look up directions, and many of them are doing this while driving. If you are going to use your phone’s GPS navigation, plug in the address before you start driving anywhere. If you are looking at your screen and typing in an address while you are driving at the same time, you are more focused on your phone than on the road. Don’t operate your GPS while you are operating your vehicle. Get a dashboard mount for your phone so that if you need to use it for navigation, you can put it up on your dashboard instead of fumbling around for it in your lap.
Do you use your phone or another device to play music in your car? Newer cars are equipped for this, and while they make it easy to sync your drive to your own soundtrack, they also make it very easy to get distracted. Instead of scrolling through your music library while you are driving, ask a passenger in the car to control the music. If you are driving alone, use the radio or create a playlist of songs ahead of time so that your music is ready to go before you drive.
Driving while under the influence of your phone has become too easy. It only takes one text message alert to make you distracted. Being consciously aware of the danger that you put yourself in by using your phone while driving is the first step to avoiding it. Don’t let yourself get distracted behind the wheel, because you never know how distracted the other drivers who you share the road with are.