Anything that takes your eyes, hands or mind off the road increases your risk for an auto accident.
Texting while driving may be the biggest offender. Research by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute shows that texting while driving makes you 23 times more likely to have a wreck.
Texting and talking on your cellphone are now banned in many states, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
To help you keep driving distractions to a minimum, here are some reminders:
• If you must dial or text, pull over or ask a passenger to manage phone calls.
• For easy, one-touch dialing in emergencies, program frequently called numbers and your local emergency number into the speed-dial feature of your phone. When available, use auto answer or voice-activated dialing.
• Keep phone conversations in the car brief. If a long discussion is required, the topic is stressful or emotional, or driving becomes hazardous, stop the conversation until you are off the road.
• Avoid eating and drinking while driving. Spills can easily cause an auto accident.
• Set aside time to shave, put on makeup or comb your hair before you get in the car.