VIDEO: A Momentary Distraction Close to Home

Farmers Insurance offers these seven ways drivers can curb distractions that can take their attention off the road:

1. Don’t be afraid to just turn off your phone.

The text you just received can wait. Try putting your phone in the backseat out of reach, or just turn it off. When you get to your destination, you can read your messages and respond.

2. Organize your stuff and avoid multitasking.

Know where your important stuff is before beginning your drive, so you’re not searching for something while driving. Program your navigation system, get the EZ-Pass out, have your toll money ready, etc., in advance. Multi-tasking while driving takes your eyes and attention off the road.

3. Let your passengers do some of the work.

Taking a road trip with a coworker? Ask your passenger to program the navigation system, find a decent radio station, or text the boss an update.

4. Save the serious discussions for later.

Don’t use a road trip to engage in a conversation likely to cause conflict or stress. That's a recipe for major cognitive distraction. Save the “we need to talk” moments for later, whether the context is personal or professional.

5. Use voice commands and Bluetooth sparringly.

They’re great technologies, but hands-free texting and talking are still pretty distracting, Farmers advises. Your hands may be on the wheel, but your mind and attention are off the road. So use them only when you absolutely must.

6. Use your smartphone to drive safer.

Some people need to use their smartphone’s GPS app in the car, so they can’t just switch the phone off completely. But when you’re driving, try putting your phone on silent. Actually, a lot of modern phones even have a programmable feature that turns off other functions when the GPS is on, Farmers points out. Also, plenty of apps these days can disable texting, send an automated text response, and hold calls while you’re driving. “So poke around your safety settings and app store to maximize your phone’s safety capabilities,” Farmers advises.

7. Make your drive time, quiet time.

“We all need our little Zen moments of the day,” Farmers says. “And while most of us don’t think of drive time as relaxing, remember that it’s OK to turn off the radio, pause the iPod, or ask your passengers to shut it. It can be pretty nice to collect your thoughts and focus on the single task at hand.”

To watch the latest AT&T video in the company's "It Can Wait" campaign, click on the photo or link below the headline. You may want to pass this along to fleet drivers as a friendly reminder.

Originally posted on Automotive Fleet