How to Become a Less Distracted Driver

Think texting while driving is just an issue for young drivers? Give it another thought. Texting while driving is a risky habit for individuals of all ages, especially because most adults now have smartphones and touchscreens in their cars. The NHTSA reports that 3,142 people lost their lives in 2020 as a result of drivers who were distracted. Reason enough: 55 percent of drivers confess to fiddling with their phones while on the road. Accidents involving injuries or worse are inevitable when over 50% of drivers are multitasking.


Will you ever text while driving? Concerned that your teen could use TikTok as a distraction behind the wheel? If you’re sick of being a distracted driver, try these strategies. 


  1. The Importance of Being Silent When Driving

Put your phone on silent mode so you won’t hear ringtones, texts, emails, and other notifications. The vibration feature is almost as annoying as a tone, so disable it too. Nothing can entice you if you don’t pay attention!


Expert Tip: To avoid distractions while driving, you can turn off your phone’s alerts by selecting the “Do Not Disturb” or “Driving” option. When it detects that you are driving, your phone will automatically turn off. All you have to do is turn it on. 


  1. Hidden Away, Forgotten

Turning off vibration and noise may not be enough to deter some heavy texters. If you’re not careful, you might still go for your phone “just in case.” This can be resolved by placing the phone somewhere out of reach. Until you get to your location, make sure you can’t access your phone by placing it in the back seat or the trunk.


  1. Simply Stop

Take your time and pull over to a safe area if you feel the desire to text someone immediately while driving. Typically, locating a secure spot to pull over does not require much time. Driving while distracted is never a good idea, unless the problem is serious enough to warrant stopping your car.


  1. Be a Positive Role Model

No parent can expect their teen to pay attention if they themselves disobey traffic laws. Before you start the car, make sure your kids witness you shutting off and putting away your phone. The best way to teach your teens to follow your rules is to set a good example yourself; after all, no amount of “do as I say, not as I do” will get them anywhere.


  1. You Can Get an App for Anything

A whopping 39% of high school students have confessed to texting while behind the wheel, according to the CDC. The good news is that your teen can use an app to lock their phone while the car is moving. Additionally, there are apps available that may monitor your teen’s whereabouts and provide information on their messaging habits. If your child has gotten into an accident or misused their driving privileges, these might be particularly useful in restoring trust.


  1. Implement Repercussions

The restrictions on texting while driving must be strictly enforced by parents. Get the repercussions out in the open. Furthermore, do not hesitate to take swift action and refuse to negotiate if you find out that your adolescent is texting while driving. Your adolescent will learn that texting while driving is a major problem if you consistently communicate this information to them. 


Do you still worry that your teen (or you!) won’t make safe decisions when driving? Enroll in a course that teaches defensive driving. By reviewing these lessons, you may improve your driving abilities and stay safe on the road.