More than 40,000 Americans died on the roads in 2016, the highest two-year increase in deaths in more than 50 years. Whether someone you care about has been known to text and drive, or you have found yourself distracted behind the wheel, these tips can help you avoid dangerous driving behavior.
Put your phone away. Turning off the phone and setting it to "do not disturb" mode can help remove the temptation to browse the internet at a red light or respond to a text message right away.
Make a promise not to multitask. Anything that occupies your mind or vision while driving can be a distraction. Make time at home to eat or put on makeup so you can concentrate on the road.
Don't be a nuisance. To avoid distracting family members and friends while they are driving, avoid calling or texting them when you know they are on the road.
Speak with your boss. Responding to texts or taking work calls while driving can be hazardous. Encourage your employer to implement a distracted driving policy that includes waiting until employees are safely parked before speaking with them.
Keep children and pets safe. Make sure your children are properly restrained in their car seats and that your pets are secure in their designated area in the back of your vehicle. If pets are not roaming around the car, it can also help reduce distractions.
Lead by example. Parents can set a good example for their children by driving attentively. Avoid texting, eating, grooming, or calling someone while driving.
Plan your route ahead of time. While driving, programming your navigation system can take your attention away from the road. It's better to delegate this task to a passenger or to enter your destination before you leave.
Speak up. If you see someone texting or driving while distracted, say something and let them know you don't approve of their behavior. Encourage your children to do the same when riding in the car of a friend. It has the potential to save a life.
Create road rules. Consider limiting the number of passengers until your teen or new driver gains driving experience.
Trying not to reach. Refrain from reaching for items that fall while driving.
Taking your eyes off the road to look for something can increase your chances of an accident.
Share these safety tips with others to keep them safe.