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Are You a Distracted Driver?

We are a distracted society. With all the technology, information and day to day activities, our concentration is constantly being challenged. One of the most challenging is distracted driving.

According to the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, these behaviors increase your risk of a crash:

Behavior Increase in Risk of Crash
Texting (illegal in Virginia)23 times
Reaching for a moving object9 times
Driving while drowsy4 times
Looking at an external object3.7 times
Reading3.4 times
Applying makeup3 times

Distracted driving is becoming one of the fastest growing risks on our roadways. With children, cell phones, music playing, and traffic congestion, here are some tips to avoid being a distracted driver:

Top Ten Tips to Minimize Your Distracted Driving

  1. Change your ways and recognize the activities that distract you; such as eating, conversing on the phone, or changing a CD.
  2. Make a plan. Get directions, study your route, check weather and road conditions. Make sure children are properly buckled up and occupied.
  3. Manage your time so that you do not have to multi-task or drive aggressively on the road.
  4. Don't let your driving time become your down time.
  5. Scan the roadway to make sure that you are aware of others on the road at all times. Be prepared for the unpredictability of others.
  6. Concentrate on your driving. Make sure that you are not upset or tired when getting on the road.
  7. Pull over to a safe place if you need to do something that will take your eyes and/or mind off of the road.
  8. Reduce the use! Use GPS and other technology sensibly. Program devices before you hit the gas.
  9. Take a refresher class! A driver improvement class can raise your awareness and help you assess your driving behaviors.
  10. Buckle up, every trip, every time. Making sure that everyone is properly buckled up is the best defense against distracted drivers.