Many people believe in the power of multitasking—getting more done at once without sacrificing quality. In reality, focusing on more than one thing at a time does more than just divide your attention; it prevents you from focusing deeply on one task and costs you mental energy every time you switch gears.
The same principles apply when driving. Though sitting behind the wheel may bore you, there is always a good reason to keep your eyes on what’s unfolding in front of you rather than diverting attention elsewhere. If you want to learn how you can limit driving distractions, this is the guide for you.
Set Device Rules
You have certain rhythms and patterns when it comes to using your phone. You may look at it first thing in the morning for news. You may pull it out in a waiting room to occupy your time. And, like many others, you may use it a bit as you drive.
Changing a song or scrolling through social media, even just for a moment, is second nature by now. It’s not enough to will yourself to put your phone down. You need a plan. One idea is to keep your phone in the glove box during your drive. Another is to restrict access to certain apps while driving, which comes in handy when you need to use your phone for navigation but don’t want to become too distracted. If you have a passenger who’s willing, have them hold onto your phone for you. As you do these things, you’ll find that your urge to scroll will decrease over time.
Don’t Do Any Serious Mental Lifting
Another way to limit driving distractions is to avoid serious or complicated conversations while on the road. Sometimes, though your eyes may be looking forward, you aren’t attending to the messages that your eyes are sending your brain. This happens when you’re on a phone call and straining to hear the other person or when you’re in any kind of heated or emotional back-and-forth conversation. Learn how to delay these conversations until you’re not driving to preserve your and your passengers’ safety.
Be Vigilant at Night
Last on our list is advice on nighttime driving. Distractions are common enough but operating a vehicle at night adds more factors into the equation. Driving drowsy is a huge risk, and anyone who’s driving through the night should take breaks when tired. This and other nighttime safety tips especially apply to truckers and others who drive after dark for their job.