Make no mistake about it—distracted driving is a major hazard on Maryland roadways. While state laws prohibit driving while operating a cell phone without a hands-free device, the truth is that vehicles present several other forms of distraction that the law doesn’t always account for.
In order to keep Maryland's roads safe, it’s important to do your part to cut down on all avenues of distracted driving. By following a few simple best practices, you can be more attentive while behind the wheel, thereby decreasing your chances of being involved in accident. Here are five helpful tips for avoiding distracted driving:
5. Just don’t use your phone, period
Bluetooth technology has made it remarkably easy to integrate your cell phone’s functionality with your vehicle’s dash console, but that doesn’t mean that using your phone while driving is completely safe. Your best bet is still making any phone calls or texts prior to, or at the end of, your journey.
4. Do your grooming at home
While driving, how often have you looked over at the car next to you and seen someone applying make-up or fiddling with their hair? Even if your vehicle is stopped, it’s important to remain vigilant of your surroundings.
3. Plan your playlist ahead of time
With streaming services and satellite radio, the listening options while driving have never been more abundant. Manipulating your audio dials can, however, be a significant distraction—especially with modern touch-screens—so it’s smart to settle on your audio choice before starting your trip.
2. Man’s best friend; driver’s worst nightmare
Make sure to safely secure your dog if he or she is coming along for a ride. Reaching into the backseat to keep your dog at bay means a hand removed from the wheel, and if they suddenly climb up front, your eyes could divert from the road.
1. Don’t eat and drive
Drive-through restaurants aim to make this difficult, but you really shouldn’t eat while behind the wheel. Food can be a mess, and a mess can be a distraction, so in order to play it safe, try and take your meals before or after trips in the car.