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How can you avoid distracted driving?

Like many Washington residents, your life is busy and requires constant multitasking and often running from one place to another. While you try to maximize every minute, when you are behind the wheel of a car it is vital to maintain focus on the road and your surroundings at all times. This helps ensure your safety, as well as the safety of those around you. Luckily, there are many ways you can avoid being a distracted driver.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, distracted driving was responsible for 3,166 deaths in the year 2017 alone. Distracted driving includes many different behaviors that drivers engage in when behind the wheel of an automobile. It is crucial that you remain mindful of the various activities you must refrain from while operating your car. 

First, do not use your cellphone while driving. If you need to check or send a text, pull into a safe location and put the car in park before doing so. When using the navigation system on your mobile device, program your destination in before you start your journey. Even calls are best limited to emergency circumstances, since the act of talking on the phone distracts you from the road ahead.

Analyze what other behaviors you engage in that may distract you from your surroundings. Refrain from eating and drinking while operating your vehicle. The same goes for activities like makeup application, hair brushing, looking for a dropped object or fiddling with the sound system. Constantly remind yourself that nothing is more important than driving safely and with complete focus. 

This information is intended for educational purposes only and should not be interpreted as legal advice.