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10 Tips to Prevent Driver Distractions

The North Oaks Shock Trauma Team sees the consequences of distracted driving all too often. They offer these top prevention tips to help you stay safe on the road:

  1. Fully focus on driving. Do not let anything divert your attention. Actively scan the road, use your mirrors and watch out for motorcycles, pedestrians and cyclists.
  2. Store loose gear, possessions and other distractions that could roll around in the car, so you do not feel tempted to reach for them on the floor or the seat.
  3. Make adjustments before your drive gets underway. Set your GPS, seats, mirrors, climate controls and sound systems before hitting the road. Decide on your route and check traffic conditions ahead of time.
  4. Finish dressing and personal grooming at home before you get on the road.
  5. Snack smart. If possible, eat meals or snacks before or after your trip, not while driving. On the road, avoid messy foods that can be difficult to manage.
  6. Secure children and pets before getting underway. If they need your attention, pull off the road safely to care for them. Reaching into the backseat can cause you to lose control of the vehicle.
  7. Put aside your electronic distractions. Don’t use cell phones while driving (handheld or hands-free) except in absolute emergencies. Never use text messaging, email functions, video games or the internet with a wireless device while driving—including those built into the vehicle.
  8. If you have passengers, enlist their help with other tasks so you can safely focus on driving.
  9. If another activity demands your attention, pull off the road and stop your vehicle in a safe place , instead of trying to attempt it while driving. To avoid temptation, power down or stow devices before getting underway.
  10. As a general rule, if you cannot devote your full attention to driving because of some other activity, it’s a distraction. Take care of it before or after your trip, not while you’re behind the wheel.