It is widely accepted that driving under the influence of alcohol poses a serious danger to the impaired driver and other motorists on the road. However, a recent study from the University of Minnesota found that talking on a cell phone while driving impairs one’s ability even more than driving while intoxicated. Talking on a cell phone and other driver distractions pose a major hazard to everyone on the road.
While there is little that you can do to control other people’s driving, there is plenty that you can do to reduce the distractions in your own vehicle. To minimize risks while driving:
- Do not talk on your cell phone or use the text messaging feature. If you absolutely must conduct a conversation use a hands-free device and speed dial.
- Never touch up your makeup or hair in the rearview mirror. You’ll look the same once you get to your destination as you do while your foot is on the gas.
- Limit your conversations with passengers and ask them to keep their voices down so you can concentrate.
- Do not smoke while you are driving, as you will probably pay more attention to not burning yourself, putting out the cigarette, or inhaling than driving safely.
- Only adjust the radio or CD player when you are completely stopped.
- Never allow animals to sit on your lap while driving.
- Do not eat or drink while driving.
- Avoid reading maps or directions. Instead, pull into a parking lot to get your bearings and determine where you need to go next to reach your final destination.
- Do not take notes or search for phone numbers.
- Never use a cell phone (even with a hands-free device) in bad weather, work zones, or heavy traffic.
Allowing yourself to become distracted while driving can lead to dangerous, and even fatal, consequences. Be a responsible motorist and make paying attention to the road your number one priority when you’re behind the wheel.
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This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as professional advice. © 2008-2010, 2013 Zywave, Inc.