You don’t have any control over the decisions other drivers make. If someone wants to talk on their phone, send a text or read a map, they’re going to do so.

However, you do have full control over everything that happens in your vehicle. There are many ways to personally avoid distracted driving, with these tips among the most powerful:

  • Put your cellphone away: When your phone is on your lap, in your pocket or in the center console, it’s easy to reach for it. However, if you put it in your trunk or glove box, you’re unable to use it while driving. This one change will greatly enhance your safety.
  • Don’t eat and/or drink while driving: Many people make a habit of this, especially during the morning hours. It’s okay to stop for coffee or a bite to eat, but don’t consume your purchase while your vehicle is in motion. Doing so forces you to take at least one hand off the wheel.
  • Limit the number of passengers: There are times when there will be other people in your vehicle, such as friends, family members or co-workers. This is okay, but only if you maintain your focus. Don’t let a passenger distract you from the task at hand, as doing so puts all of you at risk of injury or death.

If you’re injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, move to safety and call 911 to explain your situation. Once you receive treatment and make note of what went wrong, contact your insurance company and learn more about your legal rights.