Distracted Driving Awareness Month may be coming to an end but that doesn’t mean that you should go back to checking Facebook notifications every time you stop at a red light. After the latest heart-wrenching episode of Grey’s Anatomy, the show’s fans strongly understand the consequences of turning your attention to a phone for just a few seconds. Familiarize yourself with the tips below to prevent distracted driving. They might not be revolutionary, but they will ensure you aren’t in the 80% of people who admit they engage in blatantly hazardous activity while driving.
- Put down the phone. It’s enticing to check your phone every time it beeps, but if you are behind the wheel, don’t do it. Here’s a scary stat: driving a vehicle while texting is now 6x more dangerous than driving drunk. Even if you have a really urgent message (like to make sure Game of Thrones is being recorded), wait to text until your car is parked. If you are traveling with a passenger, you can ask them to be your messenger!
- Traffic isn’t an excuse. For those of you who inevitably sit in traffic every day, using idle time to maximize your morning routine (i.e. putting on makeup, perfecting your moustache) is tempting. Again, don’t do it. Give yourself a few extra minutes each day to finish getting ready before you dash out.
- Use better directions. We get the reliance on your favorite maps app, especially if you are embarking on a road trip or heading somewhere new. Familiarize yourself with the suggested route before starting your car, and since most map apps will read the instructions aloud to you, there should be no reason for you to ever look at the screen again.
- Snack smarter. You leave work famished, so you stop to grab something to tide you over until dinner. However one hand on the wheel and one hand holding a burger means you’re less likely to maneuver with skill. We aren’t nutritionists so aren’t going to advise on changing your eating habits, but do whatever it takes to not eat while driving. Added bonus: less ketchup spills means less money spent cleaning.
As cool as Metromile’s app is, we don’t condone using it while driving either. Stay safe out there and put down that phone!