Driving is a complex activity requiring your full attention and concentration. When drivers become distracted, their ability to make sound decisions decreases significantly. To prevent yourself from becoming a distracted driver, try the following.

Put Away Your Phone

Refrain from using your cell phone while driving or have a passenger answer and make calls for you. Picking up your phone or taking your eyes off the road for a few seconds can result in an accident. If you must use your phone, pull over to a safe spot and park before making or answering any calls.

Turn Down the Volume

Keep your music volume low so you can concentrate on the task at hand. Listening to loud music can be distracting, so opt for softer tunes or low-volume talk radio. It can also be helpful to switch off your radio altogether. If you have to sing along, keep it in check. If you, unfortunately, encounter an accident, you'll need to remain calm and reach out to a car accident lawyer as soon as possible.

Plan Ahead and Stay Focused

Before you jump into the car, take a few minutes to plan the route and check your GPS. Ensure your destination is pre-programmed if you're using a navigation system. Once you're on the road, stay focused and avoid multitasking. Also, take a minute to clear your mind of any distractions before starting the car.

Limit Passengers and Multitasking

If possible, try to avoid having multiple passengers in the car. Besides increasing the likelihood of an accident, carpooling can be distracting when passengers talk or goof around. Also, refrain from eating, drinking, or grooming while driving.

Follow Traffic Rules and Signals

Stay up to date with traffic laws and regulations. Obeying speed limits and traffic signals can help you stay safe on the road. Also, be alert to pedestrians and other drivers who may not be paying attention or following the rules. In certain states, talking on the phone or texting while driving is illegal – make sure you are familiar with the rules and regulations of your state.

Secure Your Kids and Pets

Be sure to secure your pets and small children before starting to drive. A pet or child can be a major distraction while driving, so ensure they are safely buckled in. They might also start crying or banging around in the backseat, taking your focus off the road.

Avoid Driving When Exhausted

Driving when overtired can impair your judgment and reaction time. If you feel tired, especially after a long day, it's best to take a break or have someone else drive. Additionally, consider taking a power nap before driving long distances.

Take Breaks

If you're feeling tired or overwhelmed, take a break. Pull over to the side of the road for a few minutes and relax. You can also switch up music, snack, or take deep breaths. It's important to refocus your attention when you're feeling distracted.

Be Mindful of Your Emotions

Driving with strong emotions can be very distracting. Before getting in the car, take a few moments to acknowledge and process any emotions you might be feeling. If you're feeling frustrated or angry, it's best to take a break and return when you're calmer.

Distractions while driving can have dire consequences, so it's important to stay focused and prevent yourself from becoming distracted. Taking steps such as putting away your phone, turning down the volume, and planning ahead are essential to staying safe on the road.  

Author's Bio: 

Driving is a complex activity requiring your full attention and concentration.