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November 26, 2019

Giving up distracted driving: expert tips for ignoring your phone

We’ve all heard stories and seen the sobering statistics. Distracted driving is dangerous, and not doing it can save lives. 

At Root Insurance, giving up distracted driving can actually save you money, too—up to an additional 10% off, increasing the savings we already give to great drivers.

A few tips to prevent getting distracted behind the wheel:

1. Choose a time frame and commit.

The first step is committing to making a concrete change. This means picking an amount of time—at least 3 weeks, according to science—and putting your phone completely out of reach. Put it in a bag or in the backseat.  It’s hard to break any habit. That’s why goal-setting is essential. Once you commit to not looking at your phone while driving, make sure you’ve got a plan.

2. Prep your driving entertainment in advance.

How many times has your podcast or playlist ended mid-drive? The night before work, prep a driving soundtrack that covers your commute. Here’s a playlist to get you started.

3. Find your 2-minute pre-driving ritual.

You already do it with your seatbelt. What else can you do before you start driving? Look up directions, plug in your aux cord, let your friend know you’re on the way, and adjust the volume—before you hit the road. Make putting away your phone before you start driving a reflex. 

4. Use technology wisely.

Until that reflex is finely tuned, technology can actually help. Some phones include a Do Not Disturb feature that prevents notifications from coming through while you’re driving. You can customize settings, including an auto-reply for texts, or even allow the sender to push an urgent message through.  In addition, your phone might allow you to play incoming texts aloud through your car’s Bluetooth connection. If you need more options, there are apps that can help, too. These apps do things like automatically silence your phone while you’re driving or update your friends about where you are on your route.

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