7 Tips to Avoid Distracted Driving

Distracted driving has become an increasing problem in the St. Louis, MO area. The team at West County Volvo felt compelled to offer some advice for driving safely in today’s high-tech and constantly connected world.

  • Put your phone on silent or in driving mode.
    Most smartphones have a driving-mode or “do not disturb” mode. Although these features make it easy to communicate, sometimes it’s best to leave your phone alone while driving, especially when it comes to texting.
  • Turn down your music.
     You need to be able to hear warning sounds from cars (including your own) and the pedestrians around you. This is especially true for headphones. Wearing headphones while driving inhibits your other senses necessary for driving. Although it’s legal for St. Louis, MO drivers to wear headphones while driving, it isn’t the safest practice.
  • Do your makeup and grooming before you leave the house.
    Even if you stop to touch up your mascara at a stoplight, you’re putting yourself and others at risk by taking your eyes off the road and the signals around you.
  • Avoid eating messy or large meals.
     It is best to avoid eating in the car altogether, but that’s not always an option. Keep simple snacks ready so you don’t have to take your eyes off the road or your hands off the steering wheel.
  • Actively scan your surroundings and check your mirrors.
     Many drivers make the mistake of not checking their blind spots, especially when merging or changing lanes. Checking these on a regular basis while driving is critical; after all, they are called blind spots.
  • Avoid reaching around or in the back of your vehicle while driving.
     It’s difficult to keep your vehicle straight while reaching for items in the backseat, and fumbling with the radio or other gadgets on your center console. Have a passenger do these things for you, or have your radio set before you take off.
  • Pull over if something immediately demands your attention.

Given the above tips, if St. Louis, MO area drivers find that they absolutely need to attend to something, whether it’s a phone or a child, take some time to pull over. You should be able to spare a few minutes to ensure your safety and the safety of those around you by minding these simple tips. 

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