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The National Safety Council has designated April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Last week, this blog told you how you could sign up to be part of the solution and spread the word. Now that you’ve taken the pledge to avoid distractions, here are three strategies to help you keep your promise and avoid texting while driving.
Some drivers break their pledge because they are worried about missing important notifications on long journeys. If you are driving with a passenger, you don’t have to go radio-silent for hours. Name a designated texter who will read you your text messages, social media updates, and instant messages. Then you can dictate your response without ever having to take your eyes off the road. Your designated texter can also intercept important phone calls, letting your friends and family know you’ll respond once you are safely at your destination.
Another way to keep your promise is to take frequent stops so you can refresh yourself and check for any important messages. If you are driving long-distance, it’s a good idea to take frequent stops, anyway. By getting up, stretching your legs, and maybe having something to eat, you will stay alert and attentive while on the road. This also protect you from another kind of distracted driving: eating and drinking while driving. Give yourself the luxury of an uninterrupted meal. You will enjoy the food more, and give yourself a way to avoid distracted driving.
The biggest threat to your distracted driving pledge is a mid-trip notification. That pesky beep and flashing light creates the temptation to text while driving. But putting your phone out of reach – in the back seat or closed into a bag – will defend you against those urges. Remember, whatever message you are receiving, it can wait until you reach your destination.
It is far too easy to break your distracted driving pledge by texting while driving. Protect yourself. By using a designated texter, taking frequent breaks, and keeping your phone out of reach you will take a big step to keeping your attention on the road and off of your phone.
David Christensen is an auto accident attorney at Christensen Law in Southfield, Michigan. He represents the victims of distracted driving accidents. If you or someone you know has been hit by a distracted driver, contact Christensen Law today to schedule a meeting.