Driving is one of the most complex tasks many of us ever do. During rush hour, you must keep track of 3,000 items including traffic signals, other motorists, passengers, and road conditions!
Keeping your eyes on the road and staying alert can be difficult, but life-saving. Here's how to minimize distractions.
- Put your phone away - While using a cell phone in hands-free mode is legal, it's safest to use your cellphone only when your vehicle is parked in a safe place. If your phone rings while driving, have a passenger take the call or let it go to voicemail.
- Stay calm - Avoid emotional conversations with passengers as they can lead to distraction and unsafe behaviours. Also remember that if you are using a hands-free cell to speak with someone, that person can't see what you see - make sure they know you may need to hang up or interrupt the conversation suddenly to react to road conditions.
- Keep your hands on the wheel - Never take notes or read while driving - it's illegal! Park in a safe place before writing things down or referring to a map.
- Pull over as needed - If you need to attend to your kids or pets in your car, find a safe spot to park.
- Plan ahead - Program electronics like mp3 players and GPS units before starting to drive. If you're in a rental car, make sure to find the radio stations you want to listen to before heading out.