In the digital age, it’s becoming nearly impossible to drive even five minutes without experiencing some distraction from our smartphones. With the number of drivers on the road increasing, the number of distracted drivers is also increasing, which means that your chances of getting into an auto accident have increased tremendously. We all seem to know the dangers of distracted driving, yet if you take a look around while driving, you’re bound to see numerous drivers looking down, instead of at the road.
According to the Texting Awareness Foundation, “about 6,000 deaths and half a million injuries are caused by distracted drivers every year”. While it is clear that our smartphones will not be leaving our lives anytime soon, you can try out these tips for iGnoring your iPhone the next time you get in the car.
1.) Leave It At Home or Turn It Off
The next time you’re going for a quick trip to the gas station or supermarket, try leaving your phone at home. If you know that you will not be gone for long, let your family/friends know that you’ll be right back. While it’s unrealistic to leave your phone at home every time you leave the house, doing so every once in a while will encourage better driving habits and less distracted driving.
And if you really can’t be separated from it, practice turning the phone off before you get in the car. This way, you’ll still have it on you if you need to call your wife at the supermarket and double check that she wanted 2% milk, rather than almond milk.
2.) Put Your Phone Someplace That You Can’t Reach
Try putting your phone in your glove compartment or even in the back seat. By putting your phone in a tough-to-reach spot, you will be forced to pull over or wait until you arrive at your destination to tend to your messages or missed calls.
3.) Enable “Do Not Disturb”
If you have an iPhone, enable Do Not Disturb mode before getting behind the wheel. With Do Not Disturb, you can silence calls, alerts, and notifications that you get while your device is locked. You can also schedule a time or choose who you'll allow calls from. When Do Not Disturb is on, you'll see a in the status bar. There are two ways to turn Do Not Disturb on or off:
Go to Settings > Do Not Disturb. Choose Manual to turn on Do Not Disturb now or set a schedule.
Swipe up from the bottom of the screen to open Control Center. Then tap .
4.) Try a New App
What isn't there an app for now?. Now you can test out a variety of apps that can block texts out or send auto-reply text messages. Here are a few that we think are worth downloading:
AT&T DriveMode® is a free app that can silence incoming alerts and phone calls to help you avoid distractions and stay focused while driving. When enabled, the app turns on automatically when you're driving 15 MPH or more and turns off shortly after you stop. For AT&T postpaid customers, an auto-reply can be sent letting the sender know you are behind the wheel. Parents with young drivers can receive a text message alerting them if the app is turned off.
Rather than preventing you from receiving messages while driving, DriveSafe.ly will read your messages out loud to you so you can resist the urge to pick up the phone to respond. It will then respond automatically with a pre-set response letting you’re your friends know that you are driving and will get back to them shortly.
Are you the type of person who needs to be rewarded for good behavior? If so, this app is right up your alley. DriveScribe turns your smartphone into your person “driving coach”. The app monitors speed and blocks all messages, alerts, and phone calls while it senses movement. It also includes a point reward system for driving safely. After accumulating enough points, drivers can redeem their points for gift cards.
5.) Let Your Texting Buddy Know That You’re Getting In the Car
It’s that easy! Your friends and family love you and would never want anything to happen to you. By communicating that you’re driving and that you won’t be checking your phone, you’ll feel less anxious that someone is looking for you.
6.) Always Use a Hands-Free Device
Even though you should never reach for your phone while driving, if you need to pick up a phone call, make sure you have a hands-free headphone set or Bluetooth enabled device so that you can keep both hands on the wheel. Most new car models now feature Bluetooth capabilities which are enabled every time you get in the car. And if you’re looking into purchasing a new car for yourself, consider spending a few extra dollars for the Bluetooth feature – you’ll be glad you did when you’re not paying a high deductible as a result of a distracted driving incident.
While all of these tips can contribute to less distracted driving, an app alone cannot protect you from the dangers of the road. Practice safe driving and take the steps to make sure that you have the right auto insurance to keep you covered when you need it the most. Life is too precious to sacrifice over a text message.
Article courtesy of Tyler Beresford, Digital Marketing Coordinator