How to protect yourself from distracted driving

Even if safety is always on your mind when driving, it doesn’t mean you’ll never fall prey to a distraction. There are many things that can take your eyes off the road and your hands away from the steering wheel.

There are many ways to protect yourself from distracted driving, with these five tips among the most useful:

  • Never use your cellphone: As tempting as it may be to call someone, send a text message or check the score of the big game, don’t do so while driving. Pull to safety if you need to use your cellphone.
  • Don’t drive drowsy: When you’re too tired to drive, you’re more likely to become distracted. For example, you may turn up the radio in an attempt to keep yourself awake. Or maybe you spend more time chatting with passengers.
  • Limit activity inside your vehicle: It’s, obviously, okay to drive with passengers, but they must realize that your attention should be on the road at all times. If your children are a distraction in the backseat, pull to the side of the road to see what’s happening behind you. If your front seat passenger is distracting you with conversation, let them know that you need to pay attention to the road.
  • Don’t multi-task: When operating a motor vehicle, you shouldn’t attempt to do anything else. Don’t grab for anything in your glove box. Don’t stare at someone or something on the side of the road. Make it your goal to focus 100 percent of your effort on safe driving.
  • Don’t eat and drink while driving: It’s something many people do as a means of saving time. For example, you may drink your morning coffee while driving to work. Or maybe you like to eat your lunch while driving, all so you’re on time for your next appointment. Eating or drinking means you’re taking at least one hand off the wheel.

As you protect yourself from distracted driving, don’t be surprised if you look around and see someone breaking the law. In this case, keep as much distance between your vehicles as possible.

If a distracted driver causes an accident, move your vehicle to safety and call 911. You need to receive immediate medical treatment, as this improves the likelihood of making a full recovery. From there, you can review the police report, contact your insurance company and learn more about seeking compensation for your injuries and other damages.