Honor Distracted Driving Awareness Month With These Tips to Stop You From Texting On the Road
How to Break the Habit of Texting While Driving
April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and one of the biggest distractions faced by drivers is their cell phone. Although most states have imposed laws banning the handheld use of phones or texting (Connecticut has both a handheld ban and texting ban for all drivers), the temptation is often too much for drivers to resist. But the fact that some drivers get away with using their phone without harm doesn’t negate the need to learn how to break the habit of texting while driving.
Staying connected to your phone can become addicting, and it’s a dangerous habit to have. According to the National Safety Council, distracted driving is the third largest cause of roadway fatalities, at 26%. Speeding holds the No. 2 spot at 30% and alcohol is No. 1 at 30.8%. Clearly, limiting or eliminating cell phone use is one big way to make your drive safer.
Tips to Help You and Your Teen Avoid Texting While Driving
Having your cell phone ringing, dinging and vibrating while driving is enough of a distraction on its own, but it also increases the temptation to pick it up and use it while on the road. This raises concern for not only your driving habits, but for those of the teenage drivers in your family as well. That’s why you’ll need to make a conscious effort to limit these tempting situations.
- Out of sight, out of mind: The first thing to try is to turn your phone off or put it on silent. Then, store it in the glovebox or somewhere that limits your access to it.
- Leave your phone at home:Many drivers want to bring their phone on every drive for safety purposes, but if you’re making a quick trip to somewhere near your home, you might want to consider ditching your phone. When driving to locations close to home, you’ll feel more comfortable with the roads and more accepting of cell phone distractions.
- Carpool: Many drivers manage their personal and work lives through their phones, so it’s understandable that taking a few moments away from your phone can be a struggle. If you need to be aware of the texts and phone calls you’re receiving, consider bringing along a passenger who can respond to these texts or phone calls for you.
- Get a prepaid cell phone: Purchase a cheap prepaid cell phone with no contacts for making important phone calls only, and make a deal with your teenage driver that when going to work or to a friend’s house, the smartphone stays home and is replaced by the cheap prepaid phone.
- Get a text blocking app: Certain apps and devices can block text messaging while driving. Ones likeCellcontrol and Drive Safe Mode are great options for parents who want to make sure text messaging can’t happen. In addition, you can receive an alert if the program is turned off.
Knowing how to break the habit of texting while driving is just the first step.Though April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, take steps to permanently alter your driving habits for a safer driving experience. For more automotive tips, don’t forget to return to the Mazda of Manchester blog.