Distracted Driving: Tips To Stay Safe On The Road

Insurance Tips
02 Jan 2019

How often do you drive? Regardless of if you find yourself behind the wheel most of the week, or only on the odd occasion when you can’t find a transit route, it’s essential to the safety of yourself and others that you’re attentive. Meaning you need to limit what can potentially be a distraction. Even though 94% of drivers support laws that restrict distractions such as banning texting while driving, many still get distracted on the road. In fact, the Ontario Provincial Police noted that the number one cause of accidents in Ontario is distracted driving. So the next time you’re behind the wheel, use these tips to keep your attention on the road so you and everyone around you will arrive at their destination safely.


Keep Electronics Away And Hands-Free

While you’re behind the wheel, it’s essential that you keep any, and all electronics that could potentially distract you away and on silent, or ensure that it is a hands-free device. Meaning before you get in the vehicle, you need to set yourself up for a distraction-free drive. This can’t be emphasized enough as it’s been noted that when a driver uses a phone while driving, they become four times more likely to be involved in an accident than a driver who is focused on the road around them.


Multitasking Can Lead To Distracted Driving

Before you put your keys in the ignition, you need to make sure that any tasks you would possibly try to complete while driving such as eating, finishing your makeup, adjusting your mirrors or even finding a radio station, is done before putting your car into drive. Nothing is more distracting than having to type in an address into your GPS system, trying to find a good radio station, or finishing your breakfast while behind the wheel. Limiting the possibility of you trying to multitask will not only ensure that you’re not tempted to steer your attention away from the road, but that your drive will be smooth as everything will already be set to your liking.


Plan Your Route Before

Do you know where you’re driving to and how to get there? Before you drive away, make sure you take the time to pre-plan your route. This doesn’t only include the streets or highways you need to take potentially, but pre-setting your hands-free GPS device before you’re moving as typing in the destination address while driving is never safe. This will not only ensure that you’re going to arrive at the proper location, but that you can feel comfortable while getting there!


Secure Loose Items To Limit Distractions

Sometimes, drivers like to store their unneeded valuables in the car. Whether it’s reusable water bottles for the gym, a bag for work, or even some shoes you needed a week ago, you need to ensure that any loose items that you have in your car are secure before driving. This will help limit the need to reach back to grab anything when you turn and suddenly hear something moving on the seat beside or behind you. This is especially important when you’re loading your car after a shopping trip!


Keep Your Eyes On The Road

The last and final tip to limit distracted driving is to keep your eyes on the road. While this may seem like common knowledge, it’s understandable that sometimes, things will happen during your drive to suddenly distract you. Whether it’s loud passengers, moving cargo, or your phone buzzing, you must do everything you can to limit these distractions from taking your eyes away from the road. So be proactive and ask your passengers to be quiet while you’re driving, or like we previously mentioned, put your phone away and on silent so you can remain focused on the road ahead.


Distracted Driving Consequences

Not a lot of drivers understand the consequences that come with being convicted of distracted driving. As a conviction of distracted driving can come with a fine of $490 and three demerit points, and even costly repairs if an accident occurs, you must always remain attentive behind the wheel. In fact, starting January 1, 2019, distracted driving will hold greater consequences as new rules will take effect to increase the fines and demerit points you receive, as well as the duration of license suspensions. In addition to keeping you safe, staying aware can actually help keep your Auto Insurance rates low as you’re seen to be a safer driver by your insurance company! For any questions regarding your rates and how your past driving experience may affect your policy, contact your Waters Insurance representative today! Our goal is to get you covered with the right insurance.