Distracted driving is a serious cause of automobile accidents in the United States. You’ve heard just how dangerous it is to text and drive at the same time, but distracted driving involves much more than texting.

Various types of distractions can occur while you’re driving, such as eating and drinking, entering info into a GPS, or talking with passengers. Any of these distractions can lead to a severe accident.

It’s essential to protect yourself – and others – from the dangers of distracted driving. Here are six tips to remember before your next commute:

  • Focus on driving – Multi-tasking is a surefire way to distract yourself while on the road. Leave texting or putting on make-up for when you are at home. Instead, keep your attention on driving to ensure your safety.
  • Don’t eat or drink – Eating and drinking while you drive can be a risky distraction since it requires you to take your hands off the wheel. It’s best to eat before your trip or make a stop somewhere safe to indulge in a snack or meal.
  • Keep your phone out of reach – Texting is one of the most dangerous forms of distractions. With texting, your mind is focusing on the message while you take your eyes off the road to type. Since you’re holding your phone, you have less control of the wheel and your driving. The best way to prevent yourself from texting is to store your phone away before your drive. You can leave in the glove compartment or back seat so you’re not tempted to send any messages.
  • Pull over for phone calls – If you must text or call someone while you’re on the road, stop at a safe place first. Hands-free devices can also be distracting, so it’s best to stop at a rest area or gas station to make a phone call before continuing on your way.
  • Organize your space – A clean car can offer you fewer distractions. Keep things appropriately stored in the glove compartment to avoid objects falling out or rolling around. Trying to clean things up while you’re driving can take your focus off the road.
  • Plan before you drive – Before you head out, get everything you need ready. Enter an address into the GPS, store your phone away, or set up your music. Clean up around your car to eliminate further distractions. Send any last-minute texts before you drive. By taking the time to prepare before your drive, you can prevent distractions while on the road.

Distracted driving is responsible for around nine deaths every day in the U.S. It’s crucial to take precautions against distractions to make our roads safer for everyone.