By Peggy Jo Goodfellow, Marketing Manager Arizona Farm Bureau: Statistics show that one of every six traffic fatalities are related to driver distraction. Another half million injuries result from distraction-related crashes.

A common source of distraction is trying to multitask while driving. Farm Bureau Financial Services agents caution drivers not to use a cell phone while driving. Drivers making a phone call are four times as likely to cause an accident as drivers not making a call.

Here are seven tips that make it simple to become a safer, more attentive driver on your way to and from work.

1) Put the phone away. It can be tempting to multitask by using your cell phone to finish the workday or follow up on family matters. But research shows that driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37 percent. If you need to make a call or send a text, stop in a safe location and complete your conversation before resuming your commute.

2) Eating and driving don’t mix. When you’re on the go, your commute might seem like a convenient time to enjoy a bite of breakfast or an afternoon snack, but that convenience should be secondary to your safety. Keeping both hands free to drive makes it easier to respond to unexpected situations.

3) Take care in school zones. As you drop off children at daycare on your way to work or pick up your precious cargo after school activities, keep a watchful eye on both pedestrians and bicyclists. Beyond following posted speed limits and stopping for school buses …watch for children who might dart out between cars in congested traffic.

4) Drive like your car is brand new. Consider adopting the same level of awareness you had when first driving a new car. Continuously checking your mirrors, watching your blind spots and scanning the roadway ahead are ways to keep your eyes moving and your mind alert.

5) Make adjustments while you’re in “park.” Remember the basic rule from driver’s education class?  Adjusting your mirrors, tunes and temperature controls before you switch into drive mode is just as important today. Remember that “Drive” means drive.

6) Don’t drive while under the influence. Enough said.

7) When the weather is bad…take extra care. Even if your commute is just a short distance, allow extra time to get to your destination.

Source: Farm Bureau Financial Services

Editor’s note: For more information on our member benefits including our regional benefits go to Arizona Farm Bureau’s member benefits page online. Or, download the Member Benefits app to your smart phone for easy, everyday access to your benefits.

Join our Family!