According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, every day in the U.S. an average of nine people are killed and 1,000 injured in crashes that were caused by a distracted driver. Distracted driving is defined as anything that distracts the driver from giving their full attention to the task at hand — driving.
Taking your eyes off the road for even five seconds, long enough to read or send a text, while going 55MPH is a long enough time to cover the length of a football field. In that span, there are so many things that could go wrong. Here are several common suggestions to ensure safer and more alert driving.
Adjust Your Seat and Mirror
Even if you are the only person to drive your vehicle every day, things inside your vehicle can still move around unwittingly. Take a few moments to make sure your seat is in the correct position. This adjustment needs to be both comfortable for your posture and allows for optimal vision. Examine your side and rearview mirrors and make sure they are in the right places and not obstructed.
Plot Your Route and Create a Playlist
If you are going somewhere you have never been before, set your GPS before taking off. For music or audiobooks, it’s helpful to create a playlist before you start driving. Making song or audiobook selections while driving reduces your focus on the road.
Secure All Passengers, No Matter How Many Legs They Have
Children should be buckled in and ready to go in their seats and so should any pets traveling with you. As fun and harmless as it seems for pets to roam about, they can still do things that distract the driver. It’s safer for your pets to be seatbelt-secured with a pet-approved harness or carrier.
Eat Before You Go
It is common now to find drive-thru meals and drinks everywhere, but please wait until you get to your destination to consume them. Eating and drinking can be just as distracting as texting while driving.
Never, Ever Text While Driving
There is nothing you have to text that is more important than your life and the lives of those around you on the road. According to a 2015 study performed by the National Safety Council, 42% of teenagers admit to texting while driving. While nearly half of American teenagers text and drive, it is by no means limited to that age group. Leave texting for when you get to your destination.
Your loved ones will appreciate your dedication to eliminating distracted driving and so do we at deGravelles & Palmintier. We always want to help our clients. However, we want people to be so safe they don’t need us at all.