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5 tips that can cut back dramatically on distracted driving

Distracted driving continues to lead to thousands of annual deaths and hundreds of thousands of injuries. Even so, you still see it day in and day out. People are willing to take the risk, despite the stats.

To really cut back on accidents, this has to change. Below are five tips that could massively reduce the amount of distraction-based accidents seen during the year.

  1. Set up the GPS before pulling out of the driveway. Listening to the GPS as you drive isn't dangerous, but trying to program it when you're already underway is a huge distraction.
  2. Never eat in the car. Plan your meals so that you eat in advance or stop and go into the restaurant if you can't wait.
  3. Never deal with pets or kids while driving. Yes, stressful situations arise -- like two kids fighting over a snack -- but you should always pull over before taking your eyes off the road.
  4. Turn your cellphone off. The temptation to check your text messages can feel overwhelming, but you won't face it if you just turn the phone off. You could also set up an auto-reply system so other people know you're driving, then silence the phone and put it out of sight.
  5. Use hands-free phone systems sparingly. People often assume these are safe because you can still hold the wheel, but they're still a cognitive and visual distraction. Only use them in dire emergencies, like if you need to call 911.

If everyone took these five tips to heart, accident stats would plummet. Until that happens, make sure you know what legal options you have if a distracted driver hits you.

Source: Esurance, "3 types of distracted driving," accessed Feb. 27, 2018

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