There are only two days left to National Distracted Driving Awareness Month by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Several states had police officers on the roads ticketing distracted drivers. AutoMD.com offers these Top Ten Tips to help drivers keep their eyes on the road – and away from distractions.
- Put your Smartphone Away, and Turn it Off – Turning off the phone during a drive removes temptation to text or check email. (Even consider putting it in the trunk). That in itself can provide a little sanity to the hectic work day.
- Consider a Distraction-Blocker App – Diver distraction apps work by limiting the number of people you can call or text, shutting down third-party apps and blocking certain types of phone use above a set speed. Most major smartphone carriers, such as AT&T and Sprint, offer their own, and there are third-party versions such as the OTTER app.
- Avoid Apps that are Built to Distract- Don’t get pulled into the interactive nature of mobile games and traffic apps like Waze that can be addicting, try to avoid using them for anything more than notifications and audio updates.
- Plan Your Route Ahead of Time – Before you hit the throttle, plug in the coordinates and take a look at the directions, so that you’re prepared. And always pay attention to the audio (not visual) directions while cruising down the road.
- Be Patient, that Email Can Wait – There’s plenty of time to answer that email from your boss or spouse when you reach your destination. If you can’t let it go, however, pull over briefly, check for urgent emails and take care of business.
- Practice Safe and Defensive Driving Techniques – Be prepared to encounter other distracted drivers, focus on the road, be aware, and drive defensively.
- Be a Human Helper -If you are a passenger, offer to handle the interplay between the GPS navigation voice and other navigational issues for the driver. It helps to keep eyes and ears tuned to the road, and can be more effective.
- All Technology Distracts, Some of the Time – From in-car telematics to digital devices, the technology we use is more powerful and complicated than ever before. It pays to remember that a driver should only have one job – to drive – and that while some types of technology can help with that, anything that shifts
- Consider Onboard Technology vs Mobile BYOD Technology – In-car technology features are becoming more useful and intuitive, with real time data and easy to use interfaces. That’s great news, because as a general rule, in-car is safer than BYOD (Bring Your Own Device): Safety protocols are hard-wired into the system, screens are larger, graphics are designed for at-a-glance use, and more.
- Actually Drive the Car – Don’t Let it Drive You – As great as assistance-driving systems are, they will never replace the most critical function inside your vehicle: driving. Responsible drivers use this sort of technology as-needed, but never forget that the most important function of all is in the simple act of driving the car and staying focused on the road ahead.
AutoMD.com is free online automotive repair resource designed to empower car owners with the best ways to repair their vehicles. We hope that by following these guidelines you won’t need to repair your car due to distracted driving.