… Oh, hey! Sorry, I didn’t notice you there — I was distracted by my phone.
Which is no big deal if you’re shooting a TV segment. But when you’re behind the wheel of a car, distraction is something to be mindful of.
Each year, more than 3,000 motorists are killed and more than 400,000 are injured in crashes involving distracted drivers. Overall, distracted driving is implicated in 1 out of every 5 traffic collisions. Those figures are even higher for teens.
It’s hardly surprising these days, what with everything from smartphone apps to text messages to in-car multimedia systems competing for your attention.
Ironically, while a full three quarters of drivers support bans on handheld devices, half still reported answering incoming calls, and a 25 percent to placing calls.
And don’t kid yourself with the ol’ hands-free excuse. Studies have shown that hands-free calling and voice-to-text are just as distracting or more so than handheld devices.
Remember, just because an automaker put a feature in your car doesn’t mean it’s safe to use while driving.
Here’s a checklist of things to do to decrease distractions while driving:
- Adjust your seats, headrests, vehicle controls and mirrors, and fasten your seatbelt, before moving.
- Keep tempting distractions like your phone outta sight, outta mind and outta reach.
- Enter your destination in the navigation system or consult your directions before driving.
- Avoid eating or drinking.
- No texting, phone calls, photos, or Pokemon Go.
Now it’s time for me to get outta here and start practicing these safety tips… but first let me take a selfie.