Most drivers try to refrain from texting and driving, but it’s easy to yield to the temptation of an incoming text. While it may seem harmless to glance at your phone just long enough to scan a message, it’s not. Texting and driving statistics reveal reading one text message takes your eyes off the road for 4.6 seconds.
That might not seem like a long time, but if you’re traveling 55 mph you can cover the length of a football field in 4.6 seconds. That’s a long distance to travel with your attention diverted.
Texting and driving are not a good marriage.Since 18 percent of all fatal automobile accidents are caused by distracted driving, it’s a good idea to learn to ignore your phone when you’re behind the wheel. It’s not easy or convenient, but it’s one of the most worthwhile habits you can develop.
Silence Your Phone When Driving
Silencing your phone is the simplest solution, but it only works if you’re disciplined.
Like many, you may have become so attached to your phone that the ding of text forces the release of dopamine. When dopamine is released, it’s hard not to act upon the feelings it triggers. Dopamine release is one reason why it’s difficult to refrain from checking your phone when it beeps. Silencing your phone helps.
When you get in your car, silence your phone and place it face down. You may opt to turn off the vibration as well; it can trigger the same dopamine release that the beeping noise can.
Put Your Phone in the Trunk
If silencing your phone doesn’t work, try putting it in the trunk. It’s impossible to check texts with your phone locked away. The obvious downside to this method is that you’ll be unable to use your phone in the event of an emergency. This method is also cumbersome since you’ll have to access your trunk every time you arrive at and depart a location. However, if your willpower is lacking, this approach might work.
Distracted driver prevention technology is a good option if you want access to your phone but need external reinforcement to help you refrain from using it. Safe driving apps can lock your phone while you’re driving but allow you to call 911 during an emergency. This is a reliable method that prevents texting and driving safely.
Texting and driving involve visual, mental and manual distraction. Training yourself to ignore your phone while driving will make you and everyone on the road safer.
Try silencing your phone, putting it in the trunk, or using driver distraction technology if you’d like to quit texting and driving and need a little external motivation to do so.
Remind Yourself of the Risks
Everybody knows using your smartphone while driving isn’t safe. But drivers do it anyway, usually in situations they deem safe. It could be while they are advancing at slow speed in traffic or waiting at a stoplight.
But those situations aren’t right, either. The slightest distraction from your devices can cause an accident. To get out of the habit of using your phone while in the car, remind yourself of the risks that could occur if you are involved in a collision.
What are the risks? You’ll need to contact one or more car accident lawyers. You may need to pay a fine. You could injure yourself and others, potentially fatally. You might lose your license and your job.
The next time you feel compelled to answer the phone, change the song, or reply to a message while operating the vehicle, don’t. Think about what could happen, no matter how unlikely it seems, and act accordingly.