The American commuter spends 38 hours a year stuck in traffic according to the Atlantic web site. For some, getting behind the wheel is mundane. For others, it’s new or nerve-racking. Regardless, when it comes to driving, safety needs to be a priority.
Here are the top five tips, several recommended by wikihow.com to avoid distracted driving:
- Program your GPS. I need to know where I’m going before even getting into my car. It’s a lot easier to enter my destination into the GPS before leaving the driveway.
- Pay attention to your windshield. Before I take a longer trip, I always check my wiper blades, wiper fluid and of course, clean my windshield. Filling the wiper fluid is easy; it prevents the agony of trying to see during a storm. I also recommend spraying anti-streak solution on your windshield to keep your line of sight clear.
- Monitor your kids and/or pets. If you’re driving with children, buckle them in and provide age-appropriate books and toys to keep them occupied and minimize interruptions while driving. In my case, it’s not kids that distract me, it’s my three dogs. When I travel, I put the smaller two pups in comfortable crates and confine my big Fox Hound to the back of the car, blocking him from entering the front seat area.
- Ditch the phone. I’m often tempted to use my cell phone while driving, especially when the trip is long. Recently, I’ve made a few rules. I silence my phone, place it in airplane mode and put it away in my pocket. If I feel the urge to check my voice mail or call someone, I pull over at a rest area or gas station.
- Prepare your music. I saved my biggest distraction for last which is trying to find the right song. I’ve had a few close calls fiddling with the radio dial. I now set my radio preset buttons and use the “Seek” function rather than pressing random buttons. When it comes to CD’s, I pick them before moving my car and put them in an accessible place. Nowadays I also love to set automatic playlists on my phone.
By spending a little time planning, I get to where I’m going without the self-inflicted problems I was guilty of in the past and so can you! Thanks to Foremost.com for contributing to the content of this blog.