Cell phone use while driving remains a leading cause of car accidents and fatalities. How can you stop yourself, or your family member, from using the phone while driving? It’s actually simple.
I’m not going to preach to you about the dangers of using your phone while driving.
You know them. You’ve heard the stats so many times you can’t stand them anymore.
Besides, the problem isn’t knowledge or awareness.
The problem involves taking action.
Why don’t you, or maybe one of your family members, stop doing this behavior, despite knowledge that it puts you at more risk for a fatal accident than driving drunk?
That’s the tough question. And it governs human behavior in all facets. Every one of us does something we know isn’t good for our health or in our best interest, rationalizing it won’t actually happen.
So what do you do to overcome that thinking?
Well, I have some possible solutions for you. See what you think might work best:
- Install an App that Prevents Phone Use While Driving
There’s literally dozens of these. If you’re an adult, you can have your spouse install the app. If you have a teen, well, you have the power.
I don’t have a specific recommendation. But, apps such as Cellcontrol, DriveSafe Mode, LifeSaver, Live2Text, On My Way, and SafeDriver go as far as disabling phone use entirely while you drive.
These apps can even sense you’re driving and turn on automatically!
You can also customize what functions get disabled when driving. You’ll have to research these apps in greater detail to find the best fit.
- Put Your Phone in the Trunk
No joke here! While you drive, put your phone impossibly out of reach. That way, if you simply have to make a call while en route, you have to pull over to make that call.
That’s the safest action of all.
And it can help you prevent becoming one of the 25% of all car accidents caused by using your phone while driving.
- Reward Yourself and Family Members for Positive Behaviors
Let’s say you’re an adult without any adults to supervise you. Human behavior gets shaped with the greatest strength when you reward a positive behavior.
That’s more effective than punishing yourself for an undesirable behavior. Psychology has researched and proven it beyond the shadow of a doubt.
So, what’s rewarding to you?
Take yourself out for an extra Starbucks coffee each day you succeed in not using your phone while driving.
Do the same for your teen. Reward them for positive behaviors. Also, provide consequences for conscious disregard for the standards set in place.
Allow your teen to choose their rewards and consequences ahead of time. That way, they’ll buy in much more when they experience the effects of their behavior, whether positive or negative.
The greatest barrier between you and staying safe while driving is your own mind.
And these apps and techniques can make a simple (though difficult) change much easier, and more likely.
Stay safe out there! And, if you are injured in a car accident because someone was using their phone while driving, contact a personal injury lawyer for help before you talk to the insurance company.