You’ve heard over and over that getting distracted when driving is bad, and we’ve all seen other drivers looking at their phones instead of the road, but do you know just how dangerous are these distractions?
It turns out that distracted driving is closely related to 80% of crashes and 65% of near-crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
And that’s not all.
Beyond the danger of a crash, distracted driving affects everyone’s insurance rates—not just the people who have an accident. the National Association of Insurance Commissioners reports that distracted driving has caused insurance premiums to increase by 16% since 2011.
Distracted driving is defined as any activity that takes your attention away from the road. There are many things that can distract you while driving. Some are obvious, like texting, talking on the phone, or to passengers and pets. Others are behavioral, such as drinking, eating, or being tired. Then there's the commonplace, like adjusting the radio, GPS navigation, climate controls, or visor. There are even more distractions outside the car, including other drivers, bad weather, and sun glare.
You can’t prevent every type of distraction. The key to safe driving is to foresee the distractions you can control and take action to minimize them. Here are some simple steps to decrease your risk:
Don’t text while driving (you’ve heard this a million times but it’s the #1 distraction these days).
If the message is important enough to require a response right now, then it’s important enough to warrant pulling off the road (in a safe place) to make that response.
- Don’t drink and drive (another million timer).
Don't drive when you’re overly tired.
we’re all tired sometimes and still have someplace to be but be honest with yourself about your condition.
- Make sure your passengers or pets are secured before setting out.
- Prepare yourself and your car before you start driving:
- Set the radio and climate controls when you get in.
- Set up navigation if you’ll need it, including plugging in the device charger now.
- Store loose items and make sure anything else you might need is where you can reach them easily.
- Use the sun visor, especially in the morning and afternoon when sun glare is more pronounced. If you have The ADDVISOR (a one-of-a-kind auto visor extender that enables you to block the sun from the front and side at once, giving you Two-Direction Sun Protection) pre-position it and the car visor before driving, and avoid distractions on the road.
This is not an exhaustive list, of course, and your own needs and situation can require different steps. The main idea I’m sharing is to think about the trip before you drive and anticipate as much as possible, then do something about it before it becomes a danger. Being prepared gives you more attention for the truly unexpected.
Looking ahead will improve your safety, the safety of everyone around you, and make it a more enjoyable drive.
So think ahead and enjoy safer driving!