In our previous post, Distracted Driving = Disaster, we talked about the risks of distracted driving and how dangerous it is. We want to help you arrive at your destination safely. And to do that, you have to keep both hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road. Sometimes that can be difficult. There are a lot of things competing for the driver’s attention—a “recalculating” GPS, annoying commercials on the radio, need for munchies, and especially text messages. Here are some tips that will help you stay focused.
Whether you’re driving to the grocery store or driving across the country, we want to make sure you stay safe.
- Program your navigation system before you put your car in drive. If you need to make corrections to your route, pull over to a safe location first.
- Create a playlist on your MP3 player or burn a CD for your trip. Make sure you have more than enough songs for the length of your trip so that there is no need to adjust the radio during your drive.
- Do your makeup and other grooming tasks before you leave home.
- If you’re running late, call or text people before you start driving. Don’t risk fumbling around with your phone while driving.
- Put your phone on silent and put it out of sight while driving to avoid the temptation to read or answer a text message.
- If you’re driving a long distance and have snacks for the road, pull off to a rest station or other safe location when you need to eat.
- DriveMode. AT&T customers using an Android or Blackberry device can download this app. It automatically sends preset replies to incoming texts to let people know that you’re driving.
- DriveSafe.ly. This app also runs on Android, Blackberry, Windows Mobile and Apple devices. It reads your incoming texts and emails and automatically responds to them. (Note: This app does not respond to regular SMS or MMS text messages on Apple devices. It only responds to Google Voice SMS messages.)
- Text-STAR. Available for Google users, this app senses motion and disables texting when you are traveling more than 10 miles per hour and can respond with preset text messages.
There are currently no apps that respond to text messages using the Apple iPhone operating system. Drivers with iPhones can use Siri to read incoming text messages and respond via voice-to-text. Of course, the safest option is to avoid handling your phone at all while the vehicle is in motion.
This video from the It Can Wait campaign is proof of how catastrophic texting while driving can be.
Together we can help save lives. You can help by eliminating driving distractions and encouraging your friends and family to do the same.
Are you using any apps to avoid texting while driving? What steps do you take to avoid distracted driving? How do you encourage others to do the same? Let us know!