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Tips on how to avoid distraction while driving

Considerable media attention is often devoted to the dangers of texting and driving. But while raising awareness is definitely important, texting behind the wheel is not the only type of distracted driving behavior that is worthy of publicity. On the contrary, any type of behavior or action that takes your complete cognitive, visual or manual attention away from the immediate task at hand is considered "distracted driving," and any of these behaviors can lead to a serious accident and associated injuries or fatalities. While there is only so much you can do to avoid other distracted drivers, there are steps you can take to ensure that you, personally, are not contributing to the problem. Before you get behind the wheel, consider taking the following actions to reduce your chances of becoming a victim.

Program your GPS while stationary

While some GPS devices are programmed to not accept input while the vehicle is in motion, for most people, refraining from using it while operating a car comes down to a matter of common sense. Enter the address before you leave your driveway, the parking lot or wherever you are to avoid having to do so while barreling down the roadway at high speeds in a massive piece of machinery.

Turn off or place your cellphone in the glove box

If you do not live in a state that has a hands-free phone law, you should still avoid using your phone while you are driving. Simply shutting off the ringer is one way to avoid cellphone-related distraction, as is placing the phone in the glove box or the backseat until you are ready to exit your vehicle.

Refrain from eating or drinking while driving

You are likely aware of the dangers of drinking alcohol before driving, but consuming anything while behind the wheel, whether in beverage or food form, has the capacity to distract you from the road ahead and therefore increase your chances of being involved in a distracted-driving accident. Few foods can be easily consumed while driving a car, so wait until you find yourself somewhere stationary. Besides, studies indicate you are more likely to feel full after eating if you are not distracted by something else while doing so.

These are just a few of the steps you can take to boost overall safety in the car and improve your chances of remaining accident-free. If, however, you have been involved in an accident because of the distracted driving behaviors of someone else, you may find it beneficial to speak with an attorney.

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