One of our most significant distractions is our cell phones. From these ever-advancing devices, we have access to a whole world of information. You can call your mom, schedule appointments, make dinner plans, and even order pizza! With so many capabilities, it is tempting to do all of these things, even while driving. That’s why California is leading the way in the safe-driving legislature. At the very start of 2017, California’s governor enacted the Distracted Driving Law, which prohibits the use of one’s cell phone while operating a vehicle.
Other common causes of distracted driving:
2: Using vehicle controls or devices
3: Moving pets
5: Eating or drinking
Follow these tips for avoiding distracted driving:
- Do not use your cell phone. Yes, really, don’t even touch it. Millennials and youngsters are commonly teased for their incessant use of cell phones. However, there is no demographic group based on age, race, or location, that dips below 90% of cell phone ownership. No one can be caught without one! But driving and cell phone usage should never go together. Nothing is more important–no text, call, Facebook notification- than your undivided attention to the road. And remember, use of your phone while driving is even deemed illegal in California. So...put your phone away!
- Map out your route beforehand. Many drivers rely on a GPS app on their phones to get around town. If people are unsure of where they are going, they are more likely to pay attention to their directions than the road. So, before heading out, drivers should have a good idea of where they’re going so that they do not have to rely on a navigation app exclusively.
- Give some responsibilities to your passengers. When driving, both hands should be on the steering wheel at all times. Do not spend time fiddling with the radio or responding to a text. If a driver needs to complete a task immediately, then hand off the responsibilities to a passenger.
- Don’t drive when you’re drowsy. We’ve all been there- late in the night, hours slipping by while our eyes grow weary, yet relentlessly determined to reach our destination. However, this stubborn willpower to fight our sleepiness is quite dangerous. In fact, drowsy driving increases the risk of crashing by a whopping four times. A government report found that 37 percent of drivers have nodded off or fallen asleep at least once in their experience driving. It is a common hazard and can have devastating consequences.
- Limit the number of passengers and activity that goes on within your car. While having your passengers might assist in keeping you awake, navigation, and DJing, they might also pose a distraction. So, if belting out your favorite tunes and playing the license plate game with your passengers is distracting while you drive, stay disciplined, and refrain from doing so. Sorry to ruin the fun, but we promise that making it home safely is better than car karaoke.
- Don’t eat while you drive. For all of you who are relentlessly late to work and fight to scarf down some breakfast on your commute, we must warn against this habit. While you fumble to peel your banana and juggle a spilling bowl of cereal (arguably the worst meal for the car), you become distracted from the road. This is the most common fault of the nine to five commuter when behind the wheel. Don’t let your rushing-to-work habits land you in an accident!
- Don’t multitask while driving. Once again, you rushed multitaskers out there must find time to put on your makeup, brush your hair, and even your teeth elsewhere! It’s simply not worth it. Don’t mix up your priorities. Focus on the road and leave other tasks at home.