We are all busy and many of us spend a great deal of time in the car—driving to work at the Chrysler Plant in Belvidere or to school at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb. That time spent in the car can feel like a waste, and many people try to get other things accomplished while they drive. Although using a handheld mobile device while driving is no longer legal in Illinois, some people have not gotten the message. They continue to use their smartphone to make calls, send texts, or check email. Others use a hands-free device to perform these functions. All of these activities are dangerous because they take the driver’s focus and attention off the primary task of driving.
Distracted driving behavior puts the distracted driver and everyone around him at risk. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 421,000 people were hurt in crashes involving a distracted driver in 2012—another 3,328 people were killed.
What You Can Do to Manage Distractions
Following are some tips that can help you cope with driving distractions:
- Put your phone away. Turn off your smartphone when you get into the car and stow it in a place where you cannot reach it while you are driving.
- Explain yourself. Record a greeting on your smartphone to let people know that you are driving and will get back to them when you arrive at your destination.
- Pull over. If you need to make a call, check an email, or send a text message, find a safe place to pull over to perform these activities.
- Avoid hands-free talking and texting. Although legal in Illinois, using a hands-free mobile device to talk, text, email, or surf the web while driving is very dangerous because it takes the driver’s concentration off driving.
Committing to safe driving is a smart choice—one that will help to keep you, your family, and others who share the road with you safe. If you found this article helpful, share it with your circle of friends on Google Plus.