The distractions behind the wheel
The distractions behind the wheel
Every year, more than 1 million people in the U.S. die from a car accident. Anywhere between 20 to 50 million additional drivers and passengers are left injured or disabled. It only takes a second to end a life, and distracted driving is a hazard to not only the driver but everyone else on the road.

You may not even realize that what you’re doing is a distraction. Many people assume that texting and talking on the phone is a no-go, but other driving distractions can be equally dangerous.

Read on to learn about how you can protect yourself, your loved ones, and other drivers by avoiding driving distractions.

Put Your Phone Away

Your cell phone should not be accessible while you drive. Check any messages and make any necessary calls before you start driving. Make sure that you also switch your smartphone to “do not disturb” mode, so you aren’t suddenly startled by a ringing device.

You shouldn’t make any calls or even stop to text at a red light. Even a hands-free conversation with your earbuds, speakerphone, or a Bluetooth device can be a distraction on the road.

Don’t Eat While You Drive

Make sure that you always eat your meals before you go somewhere. Driving with food in one hand is an unneeded distraction that divides your attention. You also run the risk of choking if you’re eating quickly and trying to focus more on the road than your meal.

Drinking hot beverages should be avoided; if something spills, you could suffer severe burns and cause an accident. Although we all love a nice coffee from the Starbucks drive-thru, keep your drink safely secured until you reach your destination.

Put Pets in Seatbelts or Carriers

All it takes is one startled dog or cat to cause a crash. For their safety and yours, make sure your pets are always safely secured in your vehicle while you drive. For dogs, this could be a pet seatbelt or divider installed in your back hatch. Cats can be placed in a travel carrier that will make them feel more comfortable and protected during the ride.

Bonus: Secured pets also means less pet hair to clean out of your seats and carpet later on.

Avoid Loud Music and Electronics

Give your kids headsets so they can play their video games or use the iPad in silence. Loud music, TV shows, and movies can be a distraction to someone who is trying to focus on the road. You should also keep your stereo at a moderate volume to ensure you can always hear anything happening outside.

Do Makeup and Shave At Home

Don’t use your rearview mirror to do anything other than see what’s behind you. If you’re running late, it’s better to arrive safely at the office a few minutes behind schedule than to cause a massive accident while applying mascara.

Men shouldn’t use an electric razor or any other device while driving. Sometimes, you wind up being late to work and have to take care of some necessities in the parking lot. Whatever happens, make sure that your car is always stopped and safe before you turn your attention to your appearance.

Keep Your Mind Alert

During long drives, it’s easy to zone out and daydream. But make sure that you remind yourself to focus on the present and always keep your attention fixed on the road. Don’t slow down to observe other accidents, and don’t distract yourself by looking at the scenery.

Distracted driving can happen even without something in our hands.

Protect Yourself and Your Loved Ones

Do you have the right insurance to cover an accident? For two generations, we’ve protected North and South Carolina residents with our full-service insurance plans. Based out of Cheraw, SC, for the last 37 years, we have prided ourselves on being a staple of the community and helping each of our clients get the right coverage for their needs.

We want to form a personal relationship with every customer, not just sell insurance. Making sure you have the right car insurance for any situation is part of your job; contact us today to learn more about our policies.

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