July 18, 2023

Reduce Your Risks on the Road: 10 Tips to Avoid Distracted Driving

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Since 2020, distracted driving and accidents have seen a significant increase. It’s now a leading cause of death for children and young adults, according to the CDC. 

Now more than ever, we must take steps to practice careful, safe, and mindful driving. 



What is the Definition of Distracted Driving? 

Many people think distracted driving is only related to cell phones and technology. But distracted driving means anything that distracts your attention from driving. The CDC separates distracted driving into three groups: 

  • Visual: looking anywhere other than the road in front of you 
  • Manual: removing your hands from the steering wheel for any reason 
  • Cognitive: mind wandering and unfocused on driving 


This includes common distractions while driving, such as: 

  • Eating 
  • Drinking 
  • Talking to other passengers 
  • Texting, talking, recording, taking photos or using your phone 
  • Adjusting mirrors, your seat or your dashboard 
  • Grooming or applying makeup 
  • Children in the backseat, or pets 
  • Changing music 
  • Looking at billboards, scenery, an accident, and other surroundings 
  • Singing 
  • Daydreaming and spacing out 


Some of these distractions, such as children, are not easy to manage. But many of these situations are in your control as the driver. 

Keep in mind that in many states, using your phone while driving is illegal. 


Distracted Driving Facts 

The impact of distracted driving is clear in the statistics. 

How many crashes a year are due to distracted driving? According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 31,785 people died in traffic accidents in the first nine months of 2022. So far in 2023, about 9% (or around 3,000) were due to distracted driving. 

Although reckless driving has decreased slightly since 2020, it’s still much higher than it was before the pandemic. 

But it’s not all driver-related. Cars have increased in power and capability as well. For example, a 2000 Toyota Camry could go from 0 to 60 mph in about 8 seconds with a horsepower of 136. A more recent model, such as the 2020 Toyota Camry, can go from 0 to 60 mph in less than 6 seconds with 200 horsepower.  

This leads to a dangerous combo. Drivers have more distractions than ever as cars become faster and more powerful. 


Reduce Your Risks on the Road: Save These Tips [Free PDF]


How to Prevent Distracted Driving

Distracted driving prevention is a conscious effort to reduce its impact and intensity, even if distractions cannot be avoided entirely. Here are a few quick steps to take to reduce your distractions: 

Before You Hit the Road:

  • Adjust your seat, mirrors, and climate controls 
  • Buckle up 
  • Set your music playlist, radio, audiobook or anything else you plan to listen to 
  • Start your GPS 
  • Put your phone away and on silent for notifications, which the exception of your GPS guidance as needed 
  • Eat food while parked 
  • Finish grooming before putting the car in drive 
  • Stow any loose items securely to avoid reaching for them while driving 
  • Get children, passengers, and pets buckled, situated, and content (to the best of your ability) 


While Driving:

  • Keep your focus on the road and take your time 
  • Do not multitask 
  • Encourage passengers to help you reduce distractions 
  • Drive within the speed limit, and practice defensive driving skills 
  • Pull over if something needs your attention or you’re feeling tired 


Stay Safe on the Road

When you practice safe driving, you not only safeguard yourself and your loved ones, but you also set a good example for those around you and reduce risks for others.  

At Vault, we know risk education and mitigation are key to reducing severity of loss. Protecting your assets is more than insuring them, it’s looking at the bigger picture to reduce all possible risks. We provide all-encompassing risk management services to help proactively safeguard the life you’ve built – that’s the Vault difference.


Request a quote and experience the Vault difference.       


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While Vault believes the information provided in this article to be accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information provided. Vault is not responsible for, and does not adopt, endorse or approve any third-party webpages, or their content, that may be hyperlinked from this page. Nothing on this page alters any terms or conditions of an insurance policy and is not intended to be taken as legal, medical, or other professional advice.     

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