So, according to a recent report, Phoenix, AZ ranks in at the second-worst city in the country for distracted driving. And yeah, they include a lot of Mesa, AZ drivers in that.
Come on folks, Arizonans shouldn’t be coming in second at anything. We should be at the top of every list- well, no, not this one; we want to be at the bottom of this one, which would put us at the top of the not-distracted driving list! We’ve got to get it together, gang, and here’s how we can do it:
Don’t Be Afraid to Be the Road-Cop
Nobody wants to be the party-pooper telling everyone in the car to settle down, but your friends and family will thank you for it when they’re all still alive tomorrow. That funny Facebook video your buddy’s trying to show you can wait, your son really doesn’t need to be blasting heavy metal at full volume on the stereo, and the kids had better stop yelling that they want some drive-thru. You wouldn’t try to read a book or play a game of chess with that kind of chaos going on around you, so insist on a controlled level of energy when you’re on the road. If you’re really feeling anxious, pull over until you can get into a more focused state of mind.
Stop Using Your Phone on The Road
Do we really need even to say this one? We all know we shouldn’t, but so many of us keep fidgeting around on the phone while we’re driving. Even hands-free phone use can be a major distraction. In fact, Arizona just passed a law where it is illegal to use your phone while driving, so save money and save a life, put the phone down.
Stop Eating on The Road, Too
Look, you’re going to enjoy that cheeseburger and fries a whole lot more if you stop in a parking lot somewhere and take your time with it. It’s safer practice on the road, and it’s better for digestion, too. The added stress of trying to watch the road while eating can make it hard for your body to process your food properly.
Plan Your Trip
Knowing the route, and a back-up in case anything interferes with your plan, means you’re not checking Google Maps every five seconds while on the road. Street View can be a handy tool in helping you get the lay of the land in an area you haven’t been to before so that you’re not trying to figure out how to make sense of GPS directions while driving.
Keep Your Brain in Check
Driving while drowsy, angry, upset, annoyed, sleepy, hungry, in a hurry, or just not feeling up to it is always dangerous. Whatever your routine is in the morning, shower, coffee and crossword puzzle, pushups and herbal tea, make sure you stick to it so that you won’t feel off when you head out for work. Get to bed early enough for a full night’s sleep and some time to ease into your day in the morning. Easier said than done, we know, but whatever you can do to control your time, and control your state of mind, is going to keep you safer on the road. We’re not robots, and we have our little morning rituals for a reason. Same goes for the end of the day when we’re starting to feel tired and worn out. Distracted driving isn’t just what’s going on inside the car; it’s what’s going on inside your head.
One final tip: Most people will tell you that cranking the A/C will help you to stay alert behind the wheel. We were going to include that one but, hey, if you live in Arizona, you don’t need to be told that cranking the A/C is a good idea. Drive safe, folks, let’s hit that number one spot… but, you know, on the safe driving list, not the distracted driving one.