Each and every day, millions of Americans take to the roads, and whether you’re simply driving to work, visiting the local store, dropping the kids off at school, or planning a whole cross-country road trip experience with your friends, you have to be aware of the risks you face.
Statistics show that six million auto accidents occur in the US every single year, leading to a shocking number of deaths and injuries, many of which could have been prevented with a little more careful driving and a little less recklessness.
There are many reasons why car accidents happen, from difficult weather conditions to drivers getting behind the wheel while intoxicated due to drugs or alcohol and failing to slow down or react appropriately to other road users.
Another big issue that leads to a lot of unfortunate accidents and avoidable deaths each year is distracted driving, in which drivers allow themselves to lose focus from the road and get distracted by other things. Here are some ways to avoid it.
Avoid Using Your Phone
A shocking number of Americans admit to using their phones while driving. Some say they simply have to do it for work-related reasons, while others are so obsessed with social media or keeping in touch with their friends that they fail to understand the risks they take every time they take a look at that little screen instead of keeping their eyes on the road.
This is one of the biggest causes of distracted driving, and the fact of the matter is that using your phone while trying to remain fully in control of your vehicle and attentive to other road users simply isn’t possible. Therefore, if you want to stay safe and keep others around you safe as well, avoid using your phone when driving.
Pull Over if You Have to
In response to the previous point, some people might argue that there are times when they need to make a call or send a message while behind the wheel. If this is the case, it’s always best to find a safe spot to pull over and bring your vehicle to a complete stop before actually taking your hands off the wheel and using your phone.
Drivers should not be afraid to pull over if and when necessary. This might be because you need to make a call, eat a snack, use the restroom, or simply take a break and rest for a little while before continuing on your journey. If, at any point, you feel like your focus levels are starting to slip away from the road, pull over and take the break you need.
Buddy Up, But Avoid Arguments
Driving with a friend or loved one is a great way to avoid losing focus on the road and keeping your spirits high on long journeys, as well as giving you an extra set of eyes and ears by your side to spot any potential dangers on the road ahead. You can even share the load on long journeys with your partner by driving in shifts and getting some time to rest, when you need it.
However, driving with other people in the car can also bring some risks, especially if you start getting into arguments or heated discussions. There’s no problem with chatting to your passengers if you feel comfortable doing so, but getting too emotional in your discussions can cause problems and could lead to you losing focus, so try to keep your talks light and casual.
Keep Calm and Collected
Another issue that can cause a lot of problems and lead to distracted driving is road rage. In fact, statistics show that road rage is a major contributor to a lot of auto accidents all over America, and anyone can fall victim to this, letting themselves get angry or upset if another driver breaks the rules or fails to show respect on the road.
However, while it might be tempting to get angry and want to get even with reckless and irresponsible road users, two wrongs don’t make a right. The correct course of action is always to remain cool, calm, and collected, keeping your focus on yourself and your passengers and trying to stay safe, rather than putting all of your attention on one other driver.
Distracted driving causes a lot of accidents, injuries, and deaths each year, but if you keep these top tips in mind, you can avoid becoming another one of those statistics.