With so much competing for our attention in the modern world, staying focused behind the wheel can be a challenge. However, distracted driving is a major factor in many serious auto accidents. 

Keep yourself and others safe on the road by taking steps to avoid driving while distracted. 

Stash your cell phone 

Make calls or use your smartphone only in emergency situations, and pull safely off the road to do so. Otherwise, keep your phone in the console or glove compartment so that you will not feel tempted to answer texts or check notifications. You can also set the device’s Do Not Disturb mode if available. 

Prepare before you drive 

Take a few minutes to get comfortable in your car before hitting the road. Check the mirrors, adjusting them as needed. Clear snow, ice and debris from your windows and windshield. Set your GPS route and choose a podcast to play. Store loose items that may get underfoot or otherwise cause a distraction while you are driving. 

Avoid multitasking 

Everyone is busy, but taking on another task while behind the wheel significantly increases your risk for a crash. Whether you are in the habit of eating a meal on the way to work or putting last-minute touches on your makeup look before a date, make time to complete these tasks before you begin traveling. 

Stay calm and stress-free 

Strong emotions can also distract you from driving, whether you are angry, anxious or distressed. If you find yourself unable to focus on the road, pull over and take a few deep breaths. 

Keep kids quiet 

Teach your kids that distractions are dangerous in the car, and provide them with small items to keep them busy during the drive. Although all parents have had a moment of correcting their child’s behavior while behind the wheel, tantrums can quickly take your mind and focus off the road. 

With these smart tips, you can become a more attentive driver and reduce your risk for suffering a serious auto accident injury.