Many Americans have an obsession with their cell phones. Always in our hand or by our side, we seem to be checking them constantly. Unfortunately, this bad habit continues when we drive.
Using your cell phone in any way causes your brain to take away from the task at hand: driving safely. Many people think they are able to multitask. However, humans can only multitask when doing a cognitive (thinking) and non-cognitive (non-thinking) activity simultaneously. They cannot do two thinking tasks at once. Conversation and driving are both thinking tasks, and therefore should not be done at the same time.
April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and we wanted to give you a friendly reminder to think before making bad decisions behind the wheel. We encourage you to have a conversation with all the drivers in your family about distracted driving. A great way to do this is by taking a pledge to not drive distracted, which you can do here.
Remember, distracted driving does not just mean cell phone usage. It includes anything that takes your brain and eyes away from the road. Here are some ideas on how to avoid the temptation of driving distracted:
- Turn off your cell phone, or put it on silent mode while driving
- Pre-set your navigational system and music playlists before driving
- On a long car ride, allow time to stop and eat instead of eating on the road
- Ask a passenger to answer incoming calls or texts
You can also see our blog post on cell phone apps that can help prevent you from texting and driving.
We hope this post encourages you to break the habit, and drive safely!