Talking on your cell phone or texting while you’re behind the wheel doesn’t just drive other motorists to distraction. The National Safety Council reports that 1.6 million crashes a year are now caused by cell-phone usage, and one out of four driving accidents in the United States are caused by texting while driving.
But improper cell phone usage isn’t the only major distraction that leads to frequent traffic accidents. The Floow, a telematics-based provider of smarter and safer mobility solutions, has studied billions of journey miles to identify a number of key behaviors that have a significant impact on driver safety.
Since the U.S. Department of Transportation has declared April as National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, here are seven tips from The Floow to help promote safe driving practices.
- Put your cell phone out of arm’s reach. If you can’t grab it while you’re driving, you’ll get in the habit of waiting to answer your phone when it’s safe.
- If you must talk, do it hands-free. Some cities and states have banned texting while driving altogether. Either way, a hands-free Bluetooth device is the safer way to go.
- Secure your mobile device. Put your cell phone in the glove compartment or some other place where it’s securely stowed. The Floow’s crash testing shows that a free-flying mobile device can cause further damage or injury during a collision.
- Pick a safe time to travel. Studies indicate that you are statistically more likely to have an accident between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. than at any other time of day. Planning ahead and choosing a responsible travel time will minimize risk.
- Take regular breaks during long journeys. The longer you drive, the harder it is to stay alert. During a longer trip, take a quick refresher break every two hours.
- Consider the speed limit as a guide, not a target. All driving conditions aren’t equal. When the weather is bad or the driving conditions are less-than-desirable, slow down to allow for a greater breaking distance.
- Drive smoothly. Aggressive acceleration and deceleration are both potentially dangerous. The smoother you drive, the greater your reaction times will be.
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