With all the electronic temptations beeping and blinking to get our attention, it's no wonder that deaths caused by distracted driving have been on the rise.
Luckily, you can reverse this trend by understanding the causes of distracted driving-related accidents and taking a few simple steps to help keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel.
There are three types of distracted driving, according to The U.S. Department of Transportation:
- Visual: Taking your eyes off the road
- Manual: Taking your hands off the wheel
- Cognitive: Taking focus off the road
Distractions caused by passengers in the car, changing the radio station, eating, drinking, and texting can easily fall into all three of these categories. Texting, for instance, takes the driver's eyes off the road every five seconds - and redirects the driver's focus and fingers as they type out their thoughts. And at 55 MPH, that's equivalent to driving blind across an entire football field. For this reason, among others, texting results in an average of 11 deaths per day.
Although drivers between the ages of 16 to 19 are most likely to be involved in distracted driving-related accidents, anyone can lose focus behind the wheel. To stay alert and attentive while you're driving, follow these simple safe-driving tips:
- Keep your cell phone on silent and out of reach. This may seem impossible, but it's one of the best ways to avoid the temptation to text and drive.
- Park to eat. While you may want to jump back on the highway with fast food in your lap, staying in the parking lot for a few extra minutes could help prevent a serious collision.
- Get directions before you leave. Trying to read a map or program a GPS while driving requires more attention than you can spare. If you need to change your destination while en route, pull over to update the directions.
- Ask your passenger to change the station. When driving alone, use steering wheel controls to adjust the station, if available. If not, wait until you are at a stop light or parked to change the music.
It can be difficult at first, but safe driving is its own reward. Allstate understands this and rewards safe driving habits with its optional coverage Your Choice Auto® insurance policy. Some of the great benefits include:
- Accident forgiveness, which keeps your insurance rates from increasing in the event of an accident;
- New car replacement, if your car is totaled within the first three model years;
- A Safe Driving Bonus, which earns you a Safe Driving Bonus check for every six months of accident-free driving; and
- Deductible rewards, which offer $100 off your deductible for each year without an accident (up to $500).
The Allstate Teen Driver program offers rewards and discounts for teens who make the smart choice to put safety first and focus on the road.
To learn more about how Allstate's safe driving discounts can save you money, go online to receive a no-obligation quote, talk to your local agent, or call us at 1-866-621-6900.