It is no doubt that our world today is fast-paced. Thanks to the advancement of technology and interconnectivity, having a cellphone today means being able to do a multitude of things besides good ol’ fashioned calling. Checking e-mail, browsing social networks, changing music, and — more popularly — texting, has given us more mobile power than ever before. This has helped accelerate our modern world into a global community of high speed multi-taskers.
However, this new lifestyle has also heavily impacted road safety by providing drivers with more distractions than ever before. Younger drivers especially are prone to these distractions, which puts everyone at risk for injury or fatality. It is no surprise to find texting and mobile phone distraction at the forefront of road safety concern and policy. Below you’ll find some alternative tips from your friends here at Comedy Defense Driving to staying connected, but more importantly, staying safe on the road.
• Check before Departure – It’s a reactionary effect to check your cellphone once it makes a sound. To avoid reaching for your phone immediately, a smart and safe precaution is to simply leave your phone on silent mode before departure. Any important check-ups or calls you need to make should be made before you depart. This way, you can dedicate your attention to the road without having to be bothered by phone alerts or calls that you need to make.
*In addition, setting up music playlists or GPS routes before departure is a smart idea. Again, this helps keep the road distractions at a minimum. Set up what you think you will need to adjust during travel before leaving so that you can keep yourself alert, safe, and comfortable.
• Consider Hands-Free Devices and Headsets — The basic problem with cellphones and driving is not committing full control over your steering wheel. As a popular alternative to many cellphone drivers, hands-free devices and headsets help keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road. They also help in preserving your peripheral vision, which otherwise would be comprised with a cellphone to your ear. Not to mention, headsets, in particular, help improve the sound quality of your conversation. This balance helps you remain attentive to the road and the conversation.
• Stop When You Need To — Of course, we can’t avoid unexpected situations. No matter how much we prepare, there will be something to catch our attention off guard while driving. If you receive a call or text during your route, remember that it is okay to stop. If it is important enough, it requires your undivided attention. By pulling over or making a quick stop, you can take on an emergency matter without compromising yourself or other drivers on the road.
• Is It Urgent or Habitual — Cellphone use, although a popular contributor to road distractions and accidents, is only one danger out of an unlimited amount of distractions available to us as drivers. The point is to stay alert and dedicated to the road.
As responsible drivers, it is our duty to keep the distractions to a minimum, and if you are as connected to your phone as are millions of other drivers on the road, why not simply turn it off before turning on the ignition? It is the same principle for applying make-up, eating, drinking, or checking texts. Re-evaluate the urgency of these habitual activities in contrast to the real-life, often fatal consequences associated with road distractions.