Did you know that people who text while driving are 23 times more likely to be involved in an accident? Distracted driving is the cause nine deaths and over 1,000 injuries per day in the U.S.! Driving is an activity that requires high-level brain power. Not only do drivers have to process large amounts of visual information, they also have to react to other drivers. Additionally, driving requires coordinate hand activity and focus. Then, there is also the non-essential multi-tasking that most drivers do, like changing the music or taking a sip of water.
Every activity you begin while driving decreases the brain ability to focus on the task at hand: driving. Click here to see more information on brain functions and distracted driving. You’ll also learn more about cognitive, visual, and manual distractions so you can review them with your teen drivers! Additionally, you can make sure they know what to do in the event of an accident by reviewing our 10 Smart Steps for Roadside Emergency Safety!
Tips to Stop Distracted Driving
- Don’t use your phone! That can mean turning the screen around, placing it out of reach, or simply turning it off all together. Whichever method works best for you, make sure to use it and keep your attention on the road!
- Avoid multi-tasking! Organize your things, choose music, and start your GPS all before you hit the road. The more prepared you are beforehand, the less you’ll need to take your eyes off of the road.
- Let your passengers help! Their hands are free, so let them answer your phone or change the song for you. As the driver, your only responsible is just that, to drive!
- Save serious conversations for another time. Stress and other emotions can be unpredictable, and can also affect the way you function. It’s best to save high-emotion moments for after you’re done driving.
- Use hands-free technology sparingly. No matter how helpful they can be, Bluetooth and other voice command tech can still be distracting. While your hands are on the wheel, your mind could still be somewhere else which is just as dangerous!
- Use Smartphone safety features! If you need your phone’s GPS, then you won’t be able to turn it off completely. However, many Smartphones now have features that can disable communications while you are driving or your GPS is on.
- Make driving your quiet time. Remember, it’s okay to turn off the music and just focus on the task at hand. Just don’t let yourself zen out too much!
Teen Driver Safety
Do you have a teenager learning to drive? Check out our teen driving safety program Y.E.S. (You’re Essential to Safety)! Inside the program they’ll see facts, read stories, and meet a few young people who have already learned about driving safety the hard way. We hope your teen drivers take advantage of the Y.E.S. program to help them recognize the importance of making good driving decisions!