4 strategies to avoid becoming a distracted driver

It's human nature to become distracted. We are juggling so many things at once that it's difficult to give the task at hand our full attention. However, this is an absolute must when driving a motor vehicle. Taking our attention off the road for even a second can result in a fatal accident that claims the lives of countless victims.

Fortunately, when we focus our attention in the right way, we can avoid the biggest risk factors for distracted driving. According to GEICO, here is what you can do to stay safe in this regard:

1) Keep your cellphone out of reach: Whether you're using your phone for a voice call or texting, it's not safe to use the device while you're trying to pay attention to the road as a driver. It's best to keep your cellphone out of arms' reach while you're in your car so that there is zero temptation to take a peek at it. Even a hands-free system can be dangerous in this regard. Do yourself and your passengers a favor by giving the road your complete attention.

2) Pull over if you're sleepy: Drowsy driving makes it harder to pay attention to the road. You are far more likely to space out, daydream and miss vital details for your safety if you're sleep-deprived and fatigued on the road. It's always best to pull over and take a nap when you're feeling like this.

3) Keep passengers to a minimum: Stuffing your car full of people is a recipe for an accident. There will be numerous conversations happening at once and you may act like a host with guests in your car. By limiting your passengers to one or two people you're more likely to keep your focus where it should be.

4) Don't eat and drive or do any other kinds of "multitasking": Don't tell yourself you can handle eating and driving, putting makeup on while driving or doing anything else while driving aside from navigating traffic. No matter what the extra task happens to be, you should not be doing it when you're behind the wheel.

If you follow the above tips, you will limit your chances of becoming a distracted driver; However, you will not prevent other drivers from becoming distracted -- so make sure you continue to look out for drivers who might not be paying close enough attention to you. If a distracted driver hurts you or a family member in a crash, investigate your legal rights and options as soon as you possibly can.

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