We drive so much that it is easy to forget that every time we get behind the wheel we are placing ourselves in control of thousands of pounds of metal. It’s absolutely essential that drivers remain focused at all times for their own safety as well as the safety of other cars and pedestrians. Unfortunately, all too often drivers are distracted behind the wheel. Few things are more distracting to modern drivers than our cell phones, with texts posing a particularly high threat. Here’s what you can do to reduce the number of unsafe drivers on the road.
Set a Strong Example
The only driver you can fully control behind the wheel is yourself, so always practice safe driving. This is extra important when you’re not alone in the car. Telling somebody the best way to behave is one thing, but demonstrating appropriate behavior is significantly more persuasive. When passengers see you driving safely they are more likely to do the same when they are in the driver’s seat.
Talk About It
It’s great to be polite and accommodating of others, but sometimes you need to say something when you see something even when it’s uncomfortable, and distracted driving is one of those times. When you’re riding in a car and you see your driver is looking at their phone, ask them to stop and explain the high risk of taking your eyes off the road even for just a few seconds in order to send a text message or read an email.
Use Automated Messages
One of the biggest ways people justify using their phone in the car is to claim that there was something important they couldn’t ignore, or that it would be rude to not respond until the end of a long drive. With car modes on your phone, these excuses go out the window. From playing your texts over the car’s stereo to responding automatically with either an away message or one of several quick responses which can be sent with a single press on the dashboard display, these modes remove the need to pick up your phone while you’re driving.
Stow It Away
When in doubt the best way to keep your phone out of your hand is to make sure that it isn’t within your hand’s reach in the first place. Find a safe and secure place in your car to store the phone where you can not easily access it and keep it there whenever you’re on the road.
Spread the Word
Although driving safely yourself and setting a good example helps, there’s only so much reach to those methods. A great way to raise awareness is to find interesting and informative graphics which demonstrate the risks of distracted driving and show how to avoid bad habits and then share them on social media platforms. If you can’t find a good graphic to share just click here for an excellent infographic about texting and driving.
Safe driving is healthy personable behavior but also responsible social behavior. The next time you head out for a drive remember that your phone should stay where it’s placed until you get where you are going.