How can I stop distracted driving?

The U.S. has become a nation of multitaskers, and while at times that may be advantageous to productivity, when people are behind the wheel of a vehicle it is a definite liability. Doing anything besides focusing completely on the road can have unfortunate and even tragic consequences.

Here are some tips from the American Automobile Association on how to stop yourself from distracted driving.

Determine what constitutes distracted driving

Take a mental note of what you do when you are operating your car. Sometimes, you may not even realize that what you are doing takes your eyes off the road. While most people think that distracted driving means looking at your phone, it also includes other behaviors, such as:

  • Eating or drinking
  • Brushing your hair or applying makeup
  • Fiddling with the radio or navigation system
  • Reaching back to help a child or pet in the second row

Prepare before you start your car

Figure out what you can do to put all of your attention onto the road in front of you. This might mean refraining from snacking until you get to your destination, pulling into a secure location to send an email, finishing your grooming before leaving the house or taking extra time to secure your pet in a buckled-in harness or animal carrier.

Conceal your mobile devices

Leaving your cellphone next to you is too tempting a distraction. If you must use your phone for directions, program them before you start the car and secure your phone with a mobile device holder suctioned to the dashboard. If not, to help prevent motor vehicle accidents leave the device covered up in the glove compartment, center console, your backpack or handbag and check it once you get to your destination.