Distracted-driving-prevention-posterWhen you’re driving, you’re in control of a great deal of metal that has potential to cause a great deal of damage. A lot of teens don’t realize just how dangerous a vehicle can be if not properly operated. It doesn’t take but a split second to lose control and your attention needs to be focused on operation of the machine.

Mobile technology is a wonderful tool to keep us connected with friends and family. However, being distracted by such devices could be extremely dangerous, and you could be responsible for the death of someone’s child. What are some ways that you can keep your hands on the wheel and not on your phone?

1. Bluetooth – Nearly every phone and tablet has built-in Bluetooth technology in today’s world. As the demand for these devices has begun to decrease, the price tag is no longer a reason to justify not buying one. If you must talk on your phone while you drive, at least do so with a receiver in your ear and both hands on the wheel.

2. Texting Alternative – Texting while you drive is probably one of the most irresponsible tasks you could ever perform while behind the wheel of a vehicle. Not only is one of your hands occupied, but you are diverting your eyes from where they need to be. Even those who have a handle of texting without looking at the phone are still dividing their attention. Can you learn a new language while solving complex mathematical equations? It may sound easy until you try. If you insist on texting, at least use a speech-to-text app. Many of these are even free to use.

3. Turn it Off – Some drivers will go to the extent of turning off the phone completely as soon as they get into the car. This eliminates the distraction all-together and allows you to drive the vehicle without interruptions. Nothing is so important that it can’t wait until you stop and pull over. It can take less than a second for a child to chase a ball into your path and even less time to end his or her life.

4. Pull Over – It doesn’t take much to pull the car over to the side of the road if you are waiting for an important phone call. According to the Christensen Law Firm, 18 percent of fatal accidents are caused by cell phone users. More than 5400 people won’t go home this year because the phone was more important than controlling more than 1,000 pounds of metal.

5. Your Radio – Did you know that you can buy adapters that can broadcast your phone calls through your vehicle’s radio and speakers? Some of the newer automobiles already have this as a built-in feature. Once your phone is connected, you can operate the radio normally. Once a phone call is received, the music cuts out and the call picks up. It’s essentially speaker-phone for your automobile.

There are many alternatives to not driving while under the influence of technology. Considering the amount of torque the engine of a vehicle has under the hood, a vehicle can turn into a wrecking ball. You may be the best driver in the world, but that doesn’t mean that everyone else on the road is. Paying attention to your surroundings can keep yourself and those nearby safe from becoming a statistic of phone use while driving.

Contributor:  Elizabeth Reed is a freelance writer and a resident blogger at Liveinnanny.org. She particularly enjoys writing about parenting, childcare, health and wellness. In addition, she is an expert consultant on issues related to household management and kids.