Distracted Driving: How To Break The Habit
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In the United States, we’re deeply rooted into a society that never stops going. There’s always more to do, more to see, a more efficient way for someone to get things done; yet, there never seems to be enough time. We’re a society of multitaskers. If you aren’t multitasking, you aren’t doing it right, and you aren’t doing enough; however, have we ever considered the dangers of this type of thinking when it results in distracted driving?
It’s no different on the road – there’s constant temptation for you to check your email, look at Facebook, send a quick text, eat lunch on the go, and so many other things because many people feel there simply isn’t enough time in the day to get these things done elsewhere. You have to make efficient use of your car-time, right? Wrong. But at this point, it might feel like more of a habit than anything. So what are some things you can do to avoid distracted driving?
- Put Down The Phone
Maybe you compulsively check your phone for new emails or texts, only to realize how distracted you are. You might throw the phone down and look back at the road, but then pick it up again minutes later simply out of habit.
Almost all of the US has banned texting while driving, and many have banned handheld cell phone use. Set your phone aside, and don’t risk getting ticketed or fined. Keep your phone available for emergency use only. Checking emails or sending a text can wait, and if it can’t wait, pull over.
- Pull Over If You’re Tired
If you’re on a long distance drive, don’t set unrealistic expectations. A study shows that 37% of US drivers have nodded off while driving. If you start to get drowsy in any way, just pull over. Get out of the habit of having to drive a certain distance before stopping. Grab a coffee, food, get out for some fresh air and stretch your legs, or even take a catnap if you need to. Don’t be afraid to lose a little time if it means you won’t fall asleep behind the wheel!
- Don’t Eat And Drive
If you’re prone to getting breakfast on the go in the morning – a biscuit in one hand, coffee in the other and your knee steering the wheel – it may be time to rethink your morning routine. As difficult as it may be, try to set aside some extra time for yourself in the morning so you can eat before you leave the house. Not only is it difficult to maneuver the car with so much going on, but also if something spills you’ll be even more distracted frantically trying to clean it up.
- Have Fewer Passengers
It’s easy to get distracted when other people are in the car. Don’t over pack your vehicle and it will be much easier to stay focused and alert. Keep activity to a minimum and try not to get too overzealous with the music volume.
Ultimately, when you’re driving, let driving be your first priority. Work on breaking the habits that seem to come so naturally. It just requires a little self-discipline and a solid effort!