Shut up and drive
Safety specialist offers seven tips for avoiding distracted driving.
Talking on your cellphone or texting while you're behind the wheel doesn't just drive other motorists to distraction. It puts lives at risk. The National Safety Council reports that 1.6 million crashes a year are caused by cellphone use, and one out of four driving accidents in the U.S. is caused by texting while driving.
But improper cellphone use is just one of many distractions that frequently lead to traffic accidents, according to The Floow, a U.K. telematics-based safety solutions provider. The company says it has studied billions of journey miles to identify key behaviors that have a significant impact on driver safety. To mark National Distracted Driving Awareness Month in April, The Floow published its top tips for safe driving. They are as follows:
- Put your cellphone out of arm's reach, so you'll get in the habit of waiting to answer your phone until it's safe.
- If you must talk, do it hands-free. Bluetooth is the way to go.
- Secure your mobile device in the glove compartment or another safe place. Free-flying phones can cause damage or injury during a collision.
- Pick a safe time to travel, avoiding the statistical danger zone between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.
- Take regular breaks during long journeys to stay alert.
- Consider the speed limit a guide, not a target. When the weather is bad, slow down to allow for a greater breaking distance.
- Drive smoothly. Aggressive acceleration and deceleration can both be dangerous.
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