By Center for Personal Finance editors
Distracted driving continues to play a significant role in automobile accidents for all ages. Sixteen percent of all teens involved in a fatal crash were distracted. "Car crashes are the No. 1 killer of teens, and they have the largest proportion of distracted drivers," according to ConsumerReports.org.
Those between the ages of 30 and 39, and involved in a fatal crash as a result of distracted driving, were the most likely to be distracted by using a cell phone in 2009, according to a recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration fact sheet.
While some driving distractions are inevitable, a little preparation can help minimize disruptions. Here are several suggestions from ConsumerReports.org to help limit distractions in the car and to make driving safer:
- Sixteen percent of all teens involved in a fatal crash were distracted. Navigate. Program navigation devices before you begin driving. If you don't use a navigation device, be sure to familiarize yourself with your route to avoid fumbling with a map or written directions. And pull over if you have to review your directions, adjust a navigation device, or call for additional instructions.
- Secure. Make sure pets and loose objects are secured before heading off. This will help prevent a fallen item or an unrestrained animal's antics from drawing your attention away from the road.
- Get comfortable. Adjust the temperature, select music, and make any other changes to your surroundings before starting your journey or while you are parked. Even glancing down to switch radio stations takes your attention away from driving and can lead to an accident.
- Park cell phones. Make calls or deliver text messages before you hit the road, and turn off your cell phone while driving to prevent distractions. If you have a smartphone, consider buying an app that disables phone calls and texts while your vehicle is in motion.