While we all want to get where we are going safely, sometimes we engage in conduct that is not appropriate or safe when behind the wheel of an automobile. One of the biggest negative behaviors is some form of distracted driving. This can unfortunately lead to traffic violations and even criminal charges. What are the best ways to avoid distracted driving? 

Distracted driving is considered any activity that causes the operator of the vehicle to lose focus on driving. It has become a major issue due to the proliferation of mobile devices. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2017 there were 3,166 death on the nation’s roadways attributable to this behavior. It is also the source of many traffic violations such as lane violations, intersection violations and even some accidents. Distracted driving includes various actions such as: 

  • Texting or checking email 
  • Applying makeup 
  • Eating or drinking 
  • Setting a navigation address 
  • Playing games 

To keep yourself and your passengers safe, as well as everyone else out on the roads, it is critical that you make a concerted effort to maintain focus on driving. First, decide that you are going to avoid using your mobile device at all times while behind the wheel, even if you are stopped in traffic or at a red light. If you need to use your navigation system for directions, be sure to program it before you take off on your trip. 

Then, note what other things you do that could be considered distracted driving. If you fiddle frequently with your radio, figure out a way to avoid this, such as utilizing the presets on the steering wheel more. If something falls while you are driving, safely pull to the side of the road and put the car in park before attempting to retrieve it. Do not engage in grooming activities or makeup application, and save eating and drinking for when your car is parked. If you follow these and other rules faithfully, you can avoid traffic violations and criminal charges due to distracted driving.