Eliminate Distracted Driving Dangers
Car crashes are the most common cause of death and injury. Still, we continue to distract ourselves while we drive. Here are some important driving tips to reduce distractions and reduce the risk of traffic crashes.
BE WELL RESTED AND ALERT BEFORE DRIVING. Fatigue and physical exhaustion can create less mental alertness and a more easily distracted driver. Take a short nap before a long drive – it could avoid a collision caused by being tired and distracted.
MANAGE YOUR TIME so that you don’t have the urge to multitask or drive aggressively when behind the wheel.
KNOW YOUR ROUTE. Review maps and driving directions before hitting the road.
KNOW THE ROAD AHEAD. Check weather and road conditions by dialing 511 or logging onto www.nvroads.com before you go.
KNOW YOUR VEHICLE. Familiarize yourself with the features of every vehicle you drive, particularly unfamiliar vehicles such as rental cars. Preset radio stations, MP3 devices, and climate control.
SECURE EVERYTHING FOR THE RIDE – INCLUDING YOURSELF. Put your phone on vibrate and store in a glove box or anywhere where you will not be tempted to access it while driving. Secure objects in the car so that they don’t become a projectile in a crash. Most importantly, buckle up.
MAKE YOUR CAR A NO PHONE ZONE. Never text or talk on your cell phone while behind the wheel. It is illegal and dangerous.
ELIMINATE ALL DISTRACTIONS WHILE DRIVING. This includes eating, drinking, smoking, personal grooming, using distracting electronic devices, reading, or surfing through MP3s, radio stations, or CDs. Remember – at times, even the activities or conversation of passengers can be a dangerous distraction!
STAY FOCUSED ON THE ROAD. If you find your mind wandering, remind yourself to stay focused on the task of driving.
PAY ATTENTION IN SCHOOL ZONES. One out of six vehicles moving through a school zone is being driven by a distracted driver, according to Safe Kids USA’s 2009 study called Characteristics of Distracted Drivers in School Zones: A National Report. The report observed more than 40,000 drivers in school zones in the United States, including in Nevada. The leading distraction observed was use of an electronic device, although drivers were also seen attempting other dangerously distracting activities such as eating, drinking, smoking, grooming, reading, or reaching for something in the vehicle. Remember that school zones are an area where extreme attention and caution are needed! To view the full report, click here.
- If your phone has the feature, program an automated message to respond to missed calls and texts.
- Find and install an application that blocks phone calls and texting while driving.
- Park to eat.
- Pull to the curb to read a map or directions.
- Ask a passenger to help you with activities that may be distracting.
- Do not call someone who you know is driving.