Stay Focused Behind the Wheel

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man holding steering wheel of his car while focusing on the road

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month.  According to the National Safety Council, every 10% increase in distracted driving kills over 420 people and costs the American economy $4 billion every year.

There has been a 23% increase in distracted driving since 2020, which has caused an additional 420,000 crashes, 1,000 fatalities, and $10 billion in damages to the US economy in 2022.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 42,915 people were killed on American roads in 2021, the highest in 16 years. In 2020, American roadways were the most dangerous since 2007, reaching 1.3 fatalities per 100M miles.

Those statistics are staggering.  To think that so many lives could have been saved if we were all just paying a bit more attention is unreal to even consider!

Here are some ways you can prepare before you trip so your attention can stay on the road:

  • Plan your route ahead of time to avoid unnecessary stress and last-minute decisions.
  • Adjust your seat, mirrors, and climate controls as well as choose what music you will be listening to before driving begins.
  • Ensure that all passengers are safely buckled up, including children and pets.
  • Make sure your phone is not easily accessible, or be sure it is connected to Bluetooth if you plan to make calls during the drive.

When you are on the road:

  • Keep your eyes on the road scanning for any potential hazards.
  • Avoid multitasking while driving.
  • If you need to attend to something urgently, find a safe place to pull over before doing so.
  • Be mindful of your emotions; driving while angry, upset, or stressed can impair your judgment and reaction time.
  • Utilize navigation systems with voice guidance to avoid looking at maps or directions on your phone.
  • Encourage passengers to keep conversations light and minimize loud noises that could divert your attention.
  • If you’re traveling with children, ensure they have entertainment or activities to keep them occupied.
  • Long drives can be tiring. Schedule regular breaks to stretch your legs, rest, and refocus. If you feel too tired, pull over in a safe location and take a nap.
  • Anticipate the actions of other drivers and be prepared to react accordingly.
  • Maintain a safe following distance and avoid tailgating.
  • Be cautious at intersections and look out for pedestrians and cyclists.
  • Obey speed limits and adjust your speed based on road conditions, weather, and visibility.

There are ways to improve your driving skills also, no matter how long you have had a license.

  • Consider taking a defensive driving courses to enhance your knowledge and skills behind the wheel and it could also get you a discount on your auto insurance policy.
  • Stay updated on traffic laws and regulations in your area. You may be surprised at how some things have changed over the years.
  • Practice patience and courtesy towards other drivers, even in challenging situations.

Safe driving requires our full attention, focus, and commitment. By following these tips and making a conscious effort to minimize distractions, we can significantly reduce the risk of accidents on the road. Remember, every time you get behind the wheel, you hold not only your life but also the lives of others in your hands. Please prioritize safety and responsibility every time you are behind the wheel.

If you need any support with your insurance policy, or would like to know if a defensive driving course would be good for you to take in order to secure a discounted rate, please reach out to us here at John Scott Insurance Agency. We are ready to answer any questions, make sure you are getting the best coverage at the lowest cost possible and support you in any way we can.

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