Keep your hands off your phone when you’re driving. Sound familiar? Easier said than done?
For sure. Our phones are such an integral part of our lives, but that doesn’t mean we can’t separate from them a bit more—especially as we drive.
What is distracted driving?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, National Safety Council and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (among other institutions) all advise that anything that takes your attention away from driving serves as a distraction—that includes things like daydreaming, eating food, sipping beverages, moving children or pets, listening to loud music and so on.
When it comes to changing our habits, it may be easier to turn down the radio volume or save that coffee-to-go for the office, but never engaging with our phones can be a bigger challenge. Our new Distraction Free driving score is designed to help you reduce your risk of being involved in a collision, but we realize day-to-day events can make it harder to reach perfection.
Real life in the car
Since habits are hard, but the payoffs are positive, we thought we’d offer up a few tips to address the real-life scenarios that involve you, your car, passengers and a cell phone.
Look up store hours, double-check an address, confirm an appointment time before you start the engine and head out.
Alternate ideas for kids
It’s easy to hand kids our phones and let them play games or watch videos. When you drive with HiRoad and they use your phone, it will measure that time as a distraction. The app is smart, but not quite smart enough to know who in the car is using the phone. A few ideas to keep kids engaged include: coloring books, a Kindle or other tablet-style device, travel games and favorite books.
Find a cradle, magnetic mount or other holding device that you really like. Then use it all the time. Refrain from touching your phone while it’s mounted and use a virtual assistant like Siri if absolutely necessary.
Engage a friend, partner or other passenger to use their phone to get info needed while you drive like a focused pro. Again, while your phone is out of use, your Distraction Free score is improving.
Set up before you start up
Get your music, maps and other audio streams all set up before you hit the road. Fidgeting with your other apps as you drive means your attention is elsewhere.
Integrated systems like CarPlay for iOS help you plug into your phone’s functionality from the dashboard as you drive, freeing up your hands to concentrate on the wheel and allowing your eyes to focus on the road.
Making intentional driving choices
Distractions can feel like they are just part of our lifestyle. But at HiRoad, we want to help you make the choice to have one less distraction when you drive—keeping your phone away to help prevent accidents. The correlation is so strong between distracted driving and deadly accidents and we want to help avoid those bad outcomes in lieu of the good ones. That’s part of our job and what makes HiRoad different— we share your habits with you to help you make intentional driving choices.
As the technology gets smarter, we’ll keep refining how it recognizes distraction-free habits. For now, these tips are some of the best ways to help you earn your biggest reward. And, if you’re not all the way there yet, that’s OK too.