Distracted driving has gone from a niche issue to a major concern for all drivers on the road. People have chosen to drive distracted for as long as motor vehicles have existed, but mobile technology makes distraction easier and more tempting than ever before.
Our culture, in many ways, supports instant gratification and constant contact. People have a hard time staying disconnected, even for the duration of their daily commute. Many people even experience addiction related to their smart devices.
If you find yourself wanting to reach for your phone while you're driving, you should do everything in your power to resist that temptation. There are some things you can do to keep yourself focused on the road and off your mobile device.
Turn your ringer off when you get into your vehicle
The easiest way to avoid dangerous behavior is to decrease the power of the temptation. When it comes to the urge to check a mobile phone, the best way to reduce that risk is to avoid the knowledge of an incoming message or email.
Since there is no safe way to read and respond to that message until you arrive at your destination, it makes sense to get into the habit of turning your ringer off before you get into your vehicle. Putting your phone face down in your vehicle may also be a good option to prevent you from seeing the visual notification of an incoming message or email.
Unfortunately, these steps may not be adequate to deter some people who feel particularly compulsive in engaging with a mobile phone.
Consider keeping your phone in the back seat or trunk
Many people keep their cellphone in their pocket, in a purse on the seat next to them, directly on the passenger seat or even in a cup holder. The problem with all these locations is that they are easily accessible in a moment of personal weakness. If someone gets stuck waiting to make a left-hand turn or hears their phone go off, they may feel compelled to reach for the phone.
Putting your phone into the trunk or back seat of your car ensures that you cannot reach it. If you want to access the phone, you will have to either ask a passenger for it or pull over to the side of the road and park your vehicle. Taking these two extra steps to limit the temptation to text while driving can help keep you safer on the road.
Unfortunately, you can't do much to prevent other people from distraction at the wheel. If you find yourself hurt in an accident caused by a distracted driver, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, lost wages, property damage or other losses.