What can I do to avoid distracted driving?

When you are trying to juggle work and family obligations on a daily basis, it is all too easy to multitask whenever you can. However, it is dangerous if you do this while you are operating a vehicle. Distracted driving is the cause of thousands of lives each year in this country.

According to the Automobile Association of America (AAA), here are steps to take so you can avoid distracted driving.

Put away your mobile device

One of the biggest temptations that takes your eyes off the road while you are behind the wheel is your cellular device. However, in addition to being against the law, doing so causes you to break your focus while driving.

The best way to avoid using your mobile device is to secure it in your center console before you take off so you do not reach to check a text or email. If you need to use it for your GPS, install a quality car holder and program any directions before you start driving.

Secure children and loose items

Occupants and objects in your vehicle are another major distraction. If you have young children, take extra care to buckle them into their car or booster seats, making sure that they are comfortable. Older children should know that they must keep their seat belts on at all times. Keep in mind that the front airbag can be deadly to your pets, so use either a crate or a harness to strap your pet safely down in the back.

Save the eating and grooming for later

While it may be tempting to eat your lunch while driving around running errands, this is yet another behavior that contributes to accidents. The same goes for drinking, brushing your hair and applying makeup. Sit in a safe, parked space and finish up anything you may need before you start driving. After all, taking an extra few minutes or even just seconds to do these things can help you avoid a moving violation or motor vehicle accident.