Keep Your Eyes on the Road!

Keep Your Eyes on the Road! How to Prevent Distracted Driving 


You are busy chatting with someone on your cell phone. It is an animated conversation. However, you are doing it inside your car, while you’re driving. Little do you know that there is an oncoming truck and you fail to notice that your car is shifting lanes. The last thing you hear is your friend’s “Hello” as the car comes into contact with the truck. 


This is no unusual scenario. About 78,000 people were injured in traffic accidents in Michigan. Traffic accidents that resulted in death were 1,047 traffic deaths in 2016, and one big cause of these is what we have just described—distracted driving. Forty-one percent of young adults surveyed in Michigan admit to using their phone while driving, even if it is illegal in the state. What is distracted driving to begin with? 


Distracted driving, explained 


Distracted driving is anything that causes you to take your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel, or your mind off driving. For instance, eating and drinking while driving is considered distracted driving. Putting on makeup while driving is one other example. Texting or posting on social media is still another example of distracted driving. You may be using a navigation system or reading directions on maps, that could be considered distracted driving too. Sometimes, even being sleepy while driving can be considered a distraction. The point is, you are distracted from focusing on the task of driving, and the danger arising from that is pretty obvious. You may get into an accident if you aren’t focused enough. 


So how do you prevent distracted driving? 


There are several ways to prevent distracted driving. We list some of the best ways to do so and hope that you will follow them. 


1. Save your cell phone for emergencies only. 


A good number of distracted driving accidents occur because of the unnecessary use of cell phones on the road. If possible, limit your cell phone use, whether calling or texting, to emergency situations. If possible, use a hands-free device, and even then, it helps to pull over before making that call or sending that text. Pulling over before making a phone call or sending a text message will help you avoid being caught in the increasing number of jurisdictions, Michigan included, that ban using one’s cell phone while driving. 


2. Stop. Revive. Survive. 


This is a good mantra when heading up North for the weekend where long stretches of highway can lead to boredom and drowsiness. If you feel sleepy, do not attempt to get home faster. The best advice is to pull over and try to get some sleep. 


3. Breakfast on the go isn’t a good idea. 


Yes, some of us lead busy lives and we may all need to have a meal on the go. Having something to eat while driving, though, is not a good idea. Spilled food can be a distraction that is best avoided, if at all. 


4. Multitask somewhere else. 


Related to the last tip is this one. Sometimes, we may be distracted while driving by doing other things, like finding good music to listen to or to set a navigation app. It is best to save these activities for before you get on the road, not while you’re on it. 


You can avoid distracted driving by following these tips. Make a commitment today to keep your mind on the road and not on anything else. 

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