Enjoy the ride... but please put your phone away first!

Americans love to drive. And as we were taught in “drivers ed,” we need to keep our eyes on the road and be aware of our surroundings. However, many drivers are taking to the roads while focused on other activities: reading a text message, responding to a phone call, eating a quick lunch, taking pictures and even applying makeup. In 2021, distracted driving claimed 3,522 lives in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Distracted driving includes any physical action that takes your hands from the wheel or your eyes from the road, as well as mental or emotional distractions. The following tips from the American Automobile Association can help you reduce your chance of being involved in a distraction-related accident.

  • Put it Away
    Place your mobile device out of sight to prevent temptation.
  • Know Where You're Going
    If using a navigation system, program your destination before driving.
  • Pull Over
    If you have to call or text while driving, pull off the road safely and stop first.
  • Ask Passengers for Help
    If riding with someone, seek their help to navigate, make a call or send a message.
  • Be a Good Passenger
    Speak out if the driver of your vehicle is distracted.
  • Don’t be a Distraction
    Avoid calling or texting others when you know they are driving.

The bottom line is, practicing safe, non-distracted driving significantly reduces your chances of being in a crash or near-crash on the road. Driving already requires a person to multi-task, needing the mind and body to work together to operate the vehicle; adding on other tasks will only serve to greatly increase your chance of being involved in a dangerous situation.

© 2024 GuideOne Insurance. GuideOne® is the registered trademark of the GuideOne Insurance Company. All rights reserved. This material is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to give specific legal or risk management advice, nor are any suggested checklists or action plans intended to include or address all possible risk management exposures or solutions. You are encouraged to retain your own expert consultants and legal advisors in order to develop a risk management plan specific to your own activities.