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Distracted driving is avoidable

Does your mind ever wander as you drive down the road? Do you ever take your eyes off the flow of traffic to answer your phone, see what's going on in the back seat or look at a passenger?

Even if you do your best to avoid distracted driving, you may still be susceptible. Fortunately, once you're in the habit of doing of avoiding distractions, it's much easier to practice good driving techniques and overall safety while on the road.

Here are some tips you can follow to ensure that distracted driving never causes you trouble:

  • Turn off your smartphone and leave it off until you reach your destination. This alone will go a long way in cutting back on the potential for a distraction to enter the passenger compartment.
  • If you absolutely need to use your smartphone, be sure to use a hands free device. With this, you can keep both hands on the wheel while you conduct brief conversations.
  • Don't pay attention to anything else that is going on in your vehicle. Yes, it can be difficult to ignore your children scuffling in the back seat. Your front seat passenger may wonder why you are being so quiet when you don't engage in small talk. Even so, these are things that can improve your safety.
  • Don't eat or drink while driving. Many drivers see this as a great way to save time, but noshing or sipping behind the wheel increases the risk of accidents. Don't eat breakfast on the go. Instead, leave yourself a few extra minutes to grab a bite before leaving home.
  • Don't fiddle with the radio or GPS system. Set these devices before you put your car into drive, so that you don't have to worry about them once your vehicle is in motion. If a problem arises, pull over to the side of the road to make any adjustments to the navigation system.

You'll be safer on the road once you get into the habit of following these tips. However, you shouldn't assume that other drivers are doing the same. There will always be people who drive distracted, despite the risks.

If a distracted driver strikes your vehicle, move to safety and call 911. The responding officer can create a report, while you focus on your health and well-being. Down the line, you can learn more about your legal rights.

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