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5 tips to reduce distractions while driving

Intoxication is not the only thing that puts drivers at risk. Distracted driving poses many dangers as well. With the advancement of handheld technology, distractions are present more than ever. Many states, including Washington, have passed laws that restrict cellphone use while driving to crack down on this problem. Keep yourself free from distractions while behind the wheel to reduce the chances of getting in an accident.

1. Resist your phone

Smartphones provide convenience and entertainment, but behind the wheel is not the place to use them. You can put your smartphone out of reach so that you will not use it while driving. Do not be afraid of turning your phone off or putting it on silent, either. Whoever texted you can wait. Do whatever it takes to keep you from using your phone.

2. Enlist help from passengers

If you are driving with passengers, let them handle certain tasks. If you need to use the GPS, change the radio station or reply to a text, you can get your hands-free passenger to do it. There is no reason you should be taking part in these distracting tasks while you are driving, especially if you have others in the car with you.

3. Organize your car

Get your important items together before you drive off, especially on a long trip. Put your destination into your GPS and have toll money ready. You do not need to be fumbling around in your car in the middle of your trip. Avoid multitasking on the road by organizing your things beforehand.

4. Avoid serious discussions

Sometimes distraction has nothing to do with your phone or reaching around your car for objects. Deep or stressful conversations can distract you mentally and reduce your alertness and reaction times. It might be best to save those serious talks for when you reach your destination.

5. Do not eat

Everyone gets hungry while driving, especially if you are on a long trip. Do not try to save time by eating while driving. Plan ahead and leave earlier to give yourself time to eat your meal. Even better, plan meals before and after your trip so you do not even have to worry about getting food.

Distracted driving can have serious consequences. Keep these tips in mind so that you and others on the road are as safe as possible. It is not worth putting yourself or others at risk. If you have been injured in an accident involving distracted driving, consult an attorney.

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