Putting a Stop on Distracted Driving

Here at D & D Garage Doors, we care about all of our team members, customers and even strangers on the road. We want you to be safe inside and outside of your garage. Striving to ensure that everyone makes it home to their garage door safely, we have compiled a list of driver safety tips!

Five Tips For Driver Safety

1. Put Down the Phone

Over the past 25 years, cell phones have evolved into a basic commodity for people everywhere.  The instant communication and everlasting entertainment makes most of us wary of being without our phones for too long.  Today, cell phones make up for one out of every four car accidents!  To combat staggering statistics such as that, Apple has created a new feature that mutes notifications and disables a vast amount of applications while in a moving vehicle.  This feature can be disabled or seemingly ineffective if a driver identifies himself or herself as a “passenger” on their device, although we highly recommend against doing so.  If you find yourself in a situation where you are unwilling to fully mute your device, we advise adding custom ringtones and text tones to the people who you may need to be in immediate contact with.  This could be your children, babysitter, spouse, boss or anyone else who may reach out to you in an emergency.  This way, you will be able to ignore your “generic” ringtone until the car is safely parked, all the while still having the peace of mind knowing that your loved ones aren’t in desperate need of speaking to you.

2. Avoid Daydreaming

So many tasks to complete … so little time.  Although one may not entirely realize it, organizing your day, lamenting on conversations or preparing for a meeting in your head are all seemingly as dangerous as texting and driving.  If a driver is deep in thought while driving, he or she is multitasking.  It is as simple as that.  When a driver is not giving 100% attention to their goal of arriving to their destination, he or she is at risk for damaging their car, hurting themselves, or even worse, hurting someone else.  Daydreaming may also cause the driver to have slower reactions to the changing of street lights, stop signs and crosswalks.  One important and very alarming sign of daydreaming while driving is arriving at your destination and having no recollection of the drive itself.  Avoiding daydreaming goes hand in hand with our next tip …. Stay alert!

3. Stay Alert

Wake up, drop your kids off, drive to work, leave work, pick your kids up, drive home, repeat … Do you find yourself, like so many others, driving the same routes day in and day out?  This habituation can create a less alert driver, and it ultimately leads to a busy road full of people who feel more prepared for havoc than they actually are.  By allowing yourself to grow too comfortable while driving your everyday route, you may be less responsive to sudden brake lights, less aware of reckless drivers and even less aware of your own speed and movements.  If you find yourself not paying as much attention as you should, we suggest chewing gum or drinking coffee.  Chewing gum keeps you occupied, awake and more likely to focus on the task at hand … driving!  Coffee, as we all know, will simply keep you energized enough to be alert and aware of yourself, fellow drivers and pedestrians throughout your community.

4. Avoid RAGE

Don’t be the driver who makes everyone else’s driving experience worse. Everyone in every car has a destination to arrive to and a family who wants them to arrive safely.  “Road Rage” is used to describe many forms of aggressive and reckless driving, including but not limited to rude gestures, cutting another car off, yelling at other drivers and speeding away in an attempt to release frustration.  Every year in the United States alone, road rage accounts for over 1,200 driving incidents, some as minor as side sweeps while others may even lead to fatalities.  States have begun to classify this aggressive driving into a new category, which allows drivers to be prosecuted for assault, battery and homicide.  Don’t allow a minute of frustration to lead to the harming of others and jail time for yourself.  Road rage is something that can easily be avoided by all parties, allowing every driver to dedicate their full attention toward implementing safe driving methods.  First and foremost, allow yourself ample time to arrive at your destination.  This way, if you encounter heavy traffic or slow drivers, you will still be able to arrive on time without resorting to aggressive driving methods.  We also suggest using your horn and hand gestures to create polite and constructive communication with other drivers on the road.  If you notice the driver next to you inching toward the other lane, a light beep and wave will politely remind them to stay alert.

5. Maintain your Vehicle

Perfect driving skills will not save a driver if the car itself is not in acceptable condition.  Often times, small issues that can easily be ignored on a day-to-day basis will greatly escalate the situation when driving conditions are less desirable.  Old, ineffective wiper blades may not prevent one from driving to work in the morning, however, they could cause massive car accidents in the case of an intense storm and no road visibility.  Brake failure leads to high speed collisions, a lot of damage and intense injuries.  Some things that a driver can do to avoid brake failure are … remain aware of icons that appear on your car’s dashboard, pay attention to any changes in the feeling of your brakes and take your car in to be repaired if you notice that your car takes a much longer time to break than normal or a loud sound is emitted every time the brakes are used. Overall, it is the driver’s job to ensure that his or her car is safe enough to be in use and out on the road.  Any abnormal sounds or movements should be a sign to the driver that something with the car is out of whack and in need of a repair!