As the weather gets nicer, some people think they don’t have to be as vigilant behind the wheel as they do in the winter. The snow has melted and there’s no ice to worry about after all, right? However, this isn’t true. As the weather warms, more pedestrians and motorcycles will be out and about as well. April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. We’re taking this opportunity to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving and to encourage motorists to reduce distractions of all kinds behind the wheel.
You can play your part this month – and every month – by following these steps to avoid distractions while you drive, keeping both yourself and others safe on the road.
Driving Safety Tips
- Put away your phone
Be sure to silence your phone and store it in a location that is out of reach while driving to lower the temptation to check it. Some phones have features that automatically respond to phone calls and texts with a message, saying the owner of the phone is driving. Enable this setting while driving.
- Plan your trip before you leave
Enter your destination on your GPS before you hit the road to get you familiar with your journey and to help you feel confident in your route.
- Don’t fumble with your playlist
Select a radio station or make a playlist ahead of time and set it to play or shuffle before you start your trip to limit music adjustments behind the wheel.
- Secure all passengers
Ensure any child passengers are properly situated in car seats (if they are needed, check your state laws before your trip) and have their seatbelts securely fashioned. Keep pets stationary in the back seat and consider a pet seat belt.
- Store possessions appropriately
Make sure to store any items in your vehicle securely to keep them from moving around during your trip. Refrain from reaching for items that shift as you drive until your vehicle is safely parked.
- Avoid multitasking
We all think we’re phenomenal multitaskers, but many studies prove that’s not the case, especially while driving. The road should be your sole focus when you’re behind the wheel. Never try to accomplish additional tasks, like eating, applying makeup, or texting, while you’re driving.
- Set expectations
Ask anyone riding in your vehicle to stay still in their seats and not try to distract your attention away from the road. (e.g., “Look at this picture I took!”, “we’re at a red light, can you change the song?” etc.)