Texting. Talking on the phone. Eating. Searching for a radio station.
At some point while driving, you’ve probably participated in at least one of the above distractions – leading you to take your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel and your mental focus off driving.
These types of diversions increase your risk of crashing. For example, when using a cell phone while driving, you’re four times as likely to be involved in a crash. According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), distracted driving is a factor in between 4,000 and 8,000 crashes per day in the United States.
“It’s important to remember that your main focus behind the wheel should be safe driving – period,” said Troy Green, national spokesperson for AAA. “When you drive while distracted, your decision not only affects you, but also other passengers in your vehicle, passengers in other vehicles, pedestrians, bicyclists and any other road users.”
The folks at Penske Truck Rental teamed with AAA to offer these tips to keep you and others safe on the road, whether you’re in your own vehicle or in a Penske rental truck.
Plan ahead – Review maps and check traffic before you get behind the wheel.
Prepare your vehicle – Adjust your seat, mirrors, temperature, sound system, etc., before you leave or when your vehicle is stopped.
Secure loose objects – Safely secure unfastened items to prevent them from rolling around and taking your focus off driving.
Make sure passengers are safe and happy before you drive away – Protect your young children by properly securing them in seat belts and child safety seats. Supply your children with plenty of snacks and entertainment, based on your trip’s length. Pull off the road safely if your children require additional care during the trip. Drivers should use a pet restraint system to limit distractions and help protect pets and passengers.
Turn off your phone – Keep your phone off to reduce the temptation to check text messages, emails, etc. If you must use your phone to communicate, park in a safe place off the road.
Eat before you drive – Eat meals and snacks before you get on the road, or stop somewhere to eat if driving a long distance.
Prep yourself at home – Brush your hair, shave, apply make-up and adjust your clothing while at home, or wait until you reach your destination.
Drivers can find additional safe driving tips at AAA.com.
Penske is the exclusive moving truck rental provider for AAA and CAA members. Be sure to show your AAA or CAA membership card to save more than 20 percent on your next rental truck with Penske. So remember, Penske Truck Rental and AAA save you more on your moving budget.
By Kandace Wertz