AAA Offer a List of Not-So-Obvious Tips for Distracted Drivers

April is distracted driving awareness month. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving is a serious epidemic in the U.S.

Data from 2011 reveals that almost 400,000 injuries and more than 3,000 deaths have occurred in auto accidents caused by individuals texting behind the wheel, taking selfies, or using their mobile devices while driving.

Amid Distracted Driving Awareness Month, AAA has released a list of tips-for drivers tempted to use their phones while driving-to consider. Refraining from using a cellphone while driving is obvious advice heard countless times, but the auto-service federation offers other not-so-obvious tips that could prove useful in reducing distracted driving accidents.

AAA tips

  • Store your gear: Glancing inside the cabin of any vehicle and there will likely be small, lose items, like cellphones, paper, or pens on the seats. AAA advises drivers to store these items inside glove compartments, purses, or backpacks before starting the car. This will reduce the temptation to reach over and pick up the items if they shift while the vehicle is in motion.
  • Adjust the controls before you hit the gas pedal: AAA advises all drivers to adjust all necessary controls before driving. Shifting seats, turning on wipers, headlights, MP3 players, temperature controls, and other necessary functions needed during the ride should all be done before taking off. Performing these tasks while driving only increases the risk of getting into an accident.
  • Choose snack options wisely: It’s commonplace to snack while driving. Eating a candy bar while driving may seem simple, but how about a taco or loaded cheeseburger from a drive through? Some foods are just simply too messy-and dangerous-to eat behind the wheel of a car. AAA advises drivers to consider pulling over before unwrapping a messy burrito or just grab a simple item to eat instead to decrease the risk of an accident.
  • Secure backseat children, pets before operating a vehicle: Reaching behind the seat to tend to a child who needs a snack or to a barking pet is distracted driving and can easily cause an auto accident. AAA encourages drivers to make sure young children in the back are adequately buckled in and prepared for the duration of the ride so the temptation to take eyes off the road to reach back is avoided.

Biggest tip-refrain from cellphone use!

The obvious shouldn’t need to be stated, but it’s extremely important for drivers to really make an effort to not use their cellphones while driving-even hands-free devices. In fact, hands-free devices are known to be more hazardous than hand-held ones.

It’s no doubt that we are in the age of cellphone reliance. To many people, smartphones are lifelines and dependency on them is enormous. But it’s important to remember that there is no text, thirsty child, or snack that’s more important than an individual’s life.