Top Driving Challenges and How to Navigate Them

Top Driving Challenges

Driving is a responsibility that comes with learning skills before licensing. No matter how much an adult or teen driving school tries to prepare student drivers, there are still some situations that are challenging. Situations such as driving in bad weather, through heavy traffic, around large trucks, and even dealing with aggressive drivers can seem overwhelming and intense in the moment. Here are some basic reminders to help you sharpen your skills when it comes to these common driving challenges.

Bad Weather

Depending on where you live, there are different versions of “bad weather”. For some it is snowy blizzards, others deal with black ice, heavy rains, fog, and dust storms. No matter where you live and what weather you deal with, driving in bad weather has some common advice.

  • Reduce your speed. If you have limited visibility, it is important to slow down. If there is no visibility at all, pull off to the side of the road in a safe location. In cases like blizzards, it is important to stay on the main road so help can find you. In a situation like a dust storm, it will pass, and you can wait it out. 
  • Limit distractions. The worst time to be distracted is in a tense driving situation. Turn the radio down, ask passengers to be quiet, always keep both hands on the wheel, and focus on the road.
  • Keep an emergency kit in the car. Always keep water, snacks, a blanket, and an extra charger in your car. If you are stranded or must pull over, it is good to have supplies. Also keep some extra tools and a spare tire in your car.

Navigating Around Large Trucks

Large trucks have a bigger blind spot than any other sized car. Even with their extended mirrors, drivers struggle to cars that are driving alongside, behind, and in front of them. Be mindful of these limitations and respect their need for you to stay out of the way whenever possible. Also, be kind and let them merge into your lane if they are signaling to move over. Trying to race past or getting right in front of a truck is never a good idea and can end badly for you.

Heavy Traffic

Driving in heavy traffic is never pleasant. Driving in heavy traffic when you need to get over to an exit, there is construction, or you are in a hurry can make it worse. There are some basics to remember when navigating through heavy traffic.

  • Use your blinker. It is very important that the other drivers on the road know what you are trying to do. If you need to move over, turn on your blinker and slowly move over when you can. 
  • Don’t wait. If you know that you need to exit soon, start making your way over while you have a little more time. Having a ½ mile stretch to merge over 4 lanes just isn’t convenient for anyone.
  • Obey construction signs. No matter how impatient you become, you must always follow construction signs. Failing to follow these signs will come with higher priced tickets from police officers. Stay out of closed off areas, begin to merge when you see the signs, and reduce your speed.
  • Slow Down. Everyone is delayed when traffic is heavy. While it is frustrating, it is important to slow down and remember that circumstances are beyond your control.

Aggressive Drivers

Everyone makes mistakes while driving. Try to keep a level head and not get too angry over someone making a mistake. Instead of slamming on the gas and racing around them, control your temper. They most likely did not do it on purpose and getting angry and hostile on the road is dangerous.

If you have made a mistake and another driver is acting aggressively toward you, do your best to ignore them. Do not engage in reckless behavior and put yourselves and everyone around you in danger. If they are being persistent and you are feeling threatened, call the police. Too often these situations will escalate, and it is important that you stay safe.

Focus on the Road

When all else fails, focus on the road and remember the basic skills you learned in your drivers education courses. There are many situations you cannot plan for or perfectly remember what you are supposed to do. In those cases, the best thing you can do is be calm and trust your training and instincts.

Driving Safely at Night

Driving Safely at Night

Safe driving in the nighttime hours is an important skill for all drivers to acquire. For people who commute to work and school, there are a lot of hours in the dark driving from mid-fall to mid-spring. While dark driving conditions are more dangerous than during the daytime, it can be done with extra skills and training. 

The Risks of Driving in the Dark

As mentioned before, the most dangerous part of driving in the dark is the reduced visibility of the road. From hazards on and around the road to seeing pedestrians better, everything is harder to see in the dark. Headlights cannot light up all your surroundings, especially in undeveloped areas where there are less cars and more animals. Human eyes have a harder time seeing too, giving a driver limited depth perception, less peripheral vision, and an inability to recognize colors.

Nighttime Driving Tips

Even though vision is limited in the dark, there are some basic adjustments to behaviors and the vehicle to make sure you are maximizing your site to stay safer.

  • Increase the effectiveness of your headlights by keeping them clean
  • Adjust the headlight beams so they are correctly pointed ahead at the road
  • Keep dashboard lights dim enough that they do not interfere with your ability to see outside the car but not so dim that it is hard to see the buttons
  • If you wear glasses, be sure to wear them while driving in the dark. To reduce the glare of oncoming headlights and dashboard lights, buy a pair for nighttime driving that are anti-reflective
  • Keep your windshield clean and free from streaks
  • Avoid looking directly into headlights of other cars
  • Decrease your driving speed

Be sure to stay focused on the road and put away distractions like your phone. Other distractions may include eating messy foods or focusing too much on conversations with passengers in the car.

Avoiding Drowsy Driving

One obstacle of driving in the dark is fighting the instinct to feel sleepier in dark conditions. The brain is already pre-programmed to feel sleepier at night. The glare of oncoming headlights compound the problem because it causes the eyes to become more tired.

Staying awake and alert at the wheel is vital to staying safe. Driving while drowsy is as dangerous as driving under the influence of a substance. When a person is tired, their thinking and ability to react slow down and it is harder to focus, very similarly to driving while drunk.

If you notice yourself feeling drowsy, here are some ideas you can use to stay awake and alert:

  • Get enough rest each night to ensure you are well rested
  • If you find yourself falling asleep, pull off in a safe place and take a nap. Even 15 minutes can give you enough of a rest to finish your drive
  • Avoid driving during your typical sleeping hours

The most common ways drivers stay awake is drinking caffeine, eating crunchy snacks, turning the music up loud and singing along, or having a conversation with a passenger. Each of these can keep a driver awake but be careful not to let any of these strategies distract your attention from the road.

Driving at night is an important skill to develop for all drivers, which is why most states require driver’s education courses to teach it. With practice and safe practices, drivers do not have to be intimidated by driving in the dark. Instead, just make some small adjustments to your behaviors and vehicle to stay safe.

Things to Check Before You Drive

Things to Check before you drive

Cars are excellent at getting people around until something goes wrong. Keeping on top of maintenance is a hassle for some people, but it is well worth the effort to keep a vehicle running smoothly. Monthly maintenance is important, but it is especially vital before going on a long drive or road trip. Here are some things you should be checking for a smooth driving experience.

Fluid Levels

There are a lot of fluids that are essential to driving. Each should be checked regularly, such as:

  • Oil
  • Coolant
  • Windshield wiper fluid

Each has a different role in the car. The oil helps keep the engine well lubricated and running in top condition. Coolant helps the engine to not overheat on long drives. Windshield wiper fluid is not always considered a vital fluid, but keeping the windshield clean is essential to seeing clearly. If you are driving around in the rain or snow, it is especially important because the mud and dirty snow can get kicked up by other cars on the road and dirty the windshield. During the summer, bugs are everywhere and can eventually clutter up your line of vision too.

To check the fluids, pull out the dip sticks, look in the container, or have a professional do a maintenance check that they are all at appropriate levels. Also be sure to check around the areas and under the engine to make sure there are no leaks.

Car Parts

Mechanics will look over specific car parts when doing a routine maintenance check. Before a long drive, you should also check these areas like:

  • Wheels
  • Belts
  • Brake Pads
  • Lights

Having a safe car is dependent on these areas being in good working order. To check the wheel tread, you will need to stick a penny in with Lincoln’s head going in first. If you can still see the President’s head still, the tread is too low and you need to get new tires. It is also a good idea to get the balance on the wheels checked to prevent problems with the axles.

Belts are in the engine and power systems in the car. If one were to break, the car would need to be fixed immediately, disrupting any driving plans. To make sure they are in good working order, check for any fraying or wear. If they are old or damaged, they need to be replaced. The same is true for brake pads; if they show wear, they need to be replaced to effectively stop the car.

With the help of a friend, checking the lights is easy. Have someone stand in front and behind the car while testing the headlights, turn signals, and brake lights. If any are out, changing the lightbulbs is very easy and inexpensive.

While checking your car over, double check that your windshield wipers work well. The blades should clear the entire windshield when you spray the washing fluid. If they miss spots or haven’t been replaced in a few years, change them for new blades.

Spare Parts

Always keep spare parts in the car, but especially when you have a long drive through less populated areas. That way, if an emergency happens on the road, you are prepared and don’t have to depend on cell service, tow trucks, and nearby service shops. This would include:

  • Spare tire with hardware and jack
  • Air pump
  • Spark plugs
  • A tool set

With these basics in your car, you can fix the car yourself or have everything on hand if someone pulls over to help.

Be Prepared

Whether you’re new on the road after completing your Drivers education courses, or you’re a seasoned driver, it’s important to stay on top of these things. Being a responsible car owner means being prepared and taking care of your car. Stay on top of the vehicle’s maintenance and it will work better over the lifetime of the car. When heading on a road trip, have it checked over for extra protection.

Preparing for Your Driver’s License with a Learner’s Permit

preparing for your license

The first major step toward getting your driver’s license is getting a learner’s permit. This small permit will help you start your road to independence, but it comes with some very specific rules. Abiding by these rules is worth it because it helps drivers gain practice and confidence behind the wheel. With some intentional actions, you can be prepared to get your driver’s license when it is time.

Learner’s Permit Rules

Every state is going to have different rules, but in general, states require new drivers who are under 18 or 21 to drive with a learner’s permit. Whenever driving with a permit, a licensed, adult driver is required to be in the passenger’s seat. This is like supervised driving practice with someone who has more experience operating a vehicle.

A learner’s permit usually is accompanied by a certain number of hours to drive during the daylight hours and nighttime hours before a regular driver’s license will be given. There are also restrictions on the number of passengers in the car and limiting peers in the vehicle too. If a driver is pulled over and caught breaking these rules, they risk not getting their driver’s license on time.

The point of having a learner’s permit is that new drivers can get more experience in a supervised manner. With more experience, new drivers will feel more comfortable and confident behind the wheel because they will have practiced these situations.

Getting in Practice

The best way to feel confident on the roads is to get in a lot of practice. For the licensed driver in the passenger seat, they have a duty to help correct mistakes and give direction. A driver just learning needs to have reminders throughout the drive to do the things they learned about during driver’s education classes. Learning what to do in specific situations is important in class, but once a new driver is behind the wheel, sometimes they forget what to do.

When driving with a permit, it is important to get a lot of experience with different situations. Most people will want to stick to less busy roads at first but going out onto busier streets with more traffic is important too. When drivers are exposed to busy streets, heavy traffic, and even driving on the freeway, it is important to practice with a licensed driver in the car. This way, they can ask questions and get support while navigating these harder driving situations.

Applying for a License

When it comes time to change the learner’s permit in for a driver’s license, some states require a report of hours driven. Most drivers will have six to twelve months to accrue all the required hours, so take your time in practicing. Be sure to look up all the required paperwork and make an appointment, if necessary, at your local licensure location.

Once a new driver has fulfilled all the requirements, everyone can rest assured that they are prepared to drive on the roads. With all the practice and variety of experiences already seen, new driver’s have a higher chance of staying safe.

Driving and Recognizing Hand Signals

Many drivers will find themselves in a situation where they themselves or someone they are sharing the road with will need to use hand signals.  Brake lights and turn signals help keep everyone aware and safe on the road, but sometimes they go out on a vehicle. Bicyclists and motorcyclists also share the road and more commonly use hand signals. Knowing how to use and recognize these signals will help keep everyone on the road in better communication and prevent collisions and accidents.

There are three basic hand signals that mimic the three basic light uses on a vehicle; turning left, turning right, and stopping. These signals are always done with the left hand whether it is a driver, bicyclist, or motorcycle driver.


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Turning Left

When turning left, the proper hand signal is to stick the arm straight out of the vehicle. Some people will do two fingers to signal the turn so others on the road do not consider this as a nonchalant action. The hand signal is taught as the hand placed vertically, to make sure the intent is clear.

Turning Right

When wanting to turn right, the left arm is extended out the window and held at a 90-degree angle. This is especially handy for drivers because they are unable to stick a hand or arm out of the right or passenger side of the vehicle. The hand is flat and fingers straight up.

Stopping

When stopping, it is important to let anyone behind you on the road know to avoid them running into you. For drivers, the arm is extended down at an angle with the palm facing backward with a bend in the elbow to get over the car window frame. For bicyclists and motorcyclists, the arm is usually straight and extended outward with the palm facing backward.

To stay safe, do not rely on the stopping signal alone. It is important to also glance over the shoulder or a rear-view mirror to be sure the signal is noticed. While this is the universal sign for stopping, drivers are usually looking for brake lights on a car to indicate the action and may not notice the driver signaling.

For bicyclists and motorcyclists, the signals are more noticeable, but it is more dangerous to be hit. Make sure the signal is always very clear and then watch your surroundings. If the person behind you does not notice your signal or that you are stopping, there may be time and opportunities to move out of the way before being hit.

Remember the Signs

Learning the signs once for a driving test is not good enough for drivers and cyclists to be safe. Most drivers do not anticipate needing to use the signals, but it is important to know them if your lights go out. If you take up biking or buy a motorcycle, it is important to know the signs for sharing the road with vehicles. If not, you should still remember the hand signals so you can watch for them. These are taught in teen driving courses and should be remembered and observed just like turn signals.

Which is Deadlier: Drowsy Driving or Drunk Driving?

Drowsy Driving vs Drunk Driving

The average adult does not get enough sleep during the night. There are several contributing factors to this and many health problems, but it also leads to problems on the roads. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety took data on driving behaviors for 2018 and found that those who are not getting enough sleep are four times more likely to crash than drivers who are getting at least seven hours of sleep.

Drowsy Driving vs. Drunk Driving

There have been several organizations over the last few decades that have made it a priority to educate the public on the dangers of drunk driving. While new student drivers are being taught about the risks of drowsy driving, there are not major campaigns to educate the public on its dangers. Many drivers still know that it is dangerous, yet almost a third of drivers polled admit to driving when overly tired in the last month. This means there is still a big problem on the roads that needs more education.

When it comes to drowsy driving, the dangers are in the body’s functions. When the body is overly tired, the reaction times are slower. Pushing on the brake or steering quickly if cut off, there is a hazard in the road, or anything else requires quick reflexes and thinking. When tired, the body cannot react as it would normally, like reaction times when driving drunk.

Another part of drowsy driving is that the driver can fall asleep for a second or two while driving. This is an added level of danger because the car is moving uncontrolled. The danger increases the faster a car is driving too. When people are going for long drives, they tend to be on roads with a higher speed limit.

Signs You’re Tired

Most people are aware of when they are tired, but when driving, these signs should get extra attention. The most common signs are:

  • Struggling to keep eyes open
  • Vision goes in and out of focus
  • Drifting from your lane
  • Not remembering the last few miles driven
  • Missing signs or turns
  • Frequent yawning

If you notice these behaviors, you are too tired to be driving. Do not try and push through to get to your destination. Instead, there are other things you can do to wake up. Try pulling off the road into a safe area to walk around the car a few times. Take a drink of water or eat something. This can help get the blood flowing and wake you up more. If you have a long way to drive still, pull off in a safe spot and take a nap. Sleep experts say that a quick, 20 to 30-minute nap is all that is needed to become rested. While this may seem frustrating to delay your trip, it is more important to arrive safely.

The most dangerous drivers are those who don’t recognize potential dangers. Being a responsible driver is making the right choices to keep yourself and others on the road safe. Don’t become a danger to others by not recognizing your limitations. You would never drive drunk, so don’t drive drowsy.

Road Trip Safety

road trip safety

Memorial Day starts the most popular season for taking road trips. Whether you are traveling to see National Parks, historical sites, or visiting friends and family this summer, we want you to get there safe. There are some basic safety tips you can use every road trip to ensure you have a fun, safe time.

Be Prepared

Before you start off on your journey, make sure you have some basic preparations. The best place to start is with your vehicle and making sure everything is ready for a long car trip and functioning properly. Some things to check are:

  • Oil level
  • Tire pressure
  • All fluids
  • Headlights and signals
  • Brakes
  • Belts, caps, hoses, and filters

Another area of preparation should include emergency items for changing a spare tire like a spare tire and the necessary tools. Extra blankets, water bottles, and a little cash on hand are all good things to keep in your trunk. It is also a good idea to make sure you have your driver’s license.

Communicate Your Plans

An important way to stay safe is to make sure someone knows your travel plans. If you ever get into car crash, have car troubles, or get lost, someone will know how to find you. If possible, check in regularly too since many people do not get cellphone coverage their whole trip. This helps narrow down the possible places you could be if something happens. While making random stops is an exciting part of road trips, it is still possible while having a general map drawn up. Mapping out your route before leaving also helps avoid problems like road closures, construction, and toll roads. Keeping an extra charger with you to keep your phones charged and GPS running.

Do Not Drive Drowsy

Getting enough rest for a road trip is vital to staying awake and alert while driving. Drowsy driving is dangerous, claiming 795 lives in 2017. Too often, drivers want to push through their fatigue and get to their location. When tired, brains have impaired cognition and performance, similar to being drunk. 

Most drivers have their own tips and tricks for staying awake while driving, but here are some ideas.

  • Drink caffeine
  • Talk to a passenger in the car
  • Roll down the window
  • Listen to the radio

If none of these are working, pull off the road to a safe place and take a nap. 

Watch for Changes

When driving on unfamiliar roads, it is important to be extra watchful. Roads are generally the same, but there are small differences between states. Some examples are changing speed limits, interchanges, and road hazards. Having unexpected changes in roads or directions can increase your chances of getting into a crash. While drivers should always pay close attention to the road, it is especially important to be vigilant in an unknown area.

Small Steps Make a Big Difference

If you are getting ready to go on a road trip, these tips will help keep you safe. Road trips are a great way to vacation on your way to a vacation. It is important to make every trip memorable for the right reasons. Whether you are a new driver or an experienced driver, the amount of preparation put into the trip will help ensure you have a great trip.

Driving Tips to Improve Your Gas Mileage

tips to improve gas mileage image for 911 Driving School

Driving a car is convenient but can also be expensive. If you commute to work, drive around town constantly, or just like to take a lot of adventures in your car, the gas bills can build up quickly. An important piece of information for many car buyers is the gas mileage the vehicle gets on the freeway and around town. Having a vehicle that gets good gas mileage is important, but a lot of that is determined in the way it is driven. Here are some tips to improve the gas mileage of your car.

  1. Ease into starting. One of the most basic ways that mileage is improved is by slowly pushing on the gas when moving. Slamming on the gas when a light turns green or speeding while backing out of a parking space wastes gas, decreasing your gas mileage potential. Instead, slowly accelerate. 
  2. Braking suddenly. Just like speeding up burns up gas quickly, braking is a big waste of gas too. When a car is powered with gas just before braking quickly, it is wasted. Instead, slow down gradually and let the vehicle naturally decelerate before braking.
  3. Drive the speed limit. The faster a vehicle goes, the more drag it creates. Many freeways have been given speed limits that keep vehicles within the limit of optimum gas mileage. While each vehicle is going to have its own optimal driving speed, gas mileage in general begins to rapidly decrease after 50 mph.
  4. Choose routes without a lot of stop and go requirements. Constantly stopping and going in the vehicle will use up more gas than if the road is open. Some routes that may take away gas mileage potential include a lot of intersections, toll roads, and even construction routes. Plan routes using proper inputs on your GPS to help determine the best way to go.
  5. Use the right fuel. Car manufacturers test their vehicles to determine gas mileage with the most premium level of fuel. It helps improve the performance of the system and give more mileage potential. The best way to know what the ideal gasoline is for your car is to look it up in the owner’s manual that comes with the vehicle.
  6. Keep tires properly inflated. Each tire has a correct pressure that is recommended by the manufacturer. When there is not enough air in the tire, it increases the resistance on the ground, slowing the car down. Having enough contact with the ground and a good tread on the tires will help the vehicle roll more easily, giving the entire vehicle better gas mileage and extending the life of the tires.
  7. Do not idle. Whenever the vehicle is fully on, the engine is using up gasoline whether it is moving or not. Sitting with the car idling for long periods of time can use a lot of gas that does not contribute to gas mileage. Decrease idling time by turning off the vehicle while waiting when possible and avoid areas where there are traffic jams.
  8. Use Cruise Control. Whenever you are driving a long stretch of road, use the cruise control in the vehicle. It reduces the need for accelerating and braking too much and keeps your car running efficiently.

Using less gasoline is great for the earth but it is also great for your wallet. Saving a few dollars here and there on gas adds up quickly. Being mindful of small actions and taking care of a vehicle also leads to safer driving habits. When a driver understands these, they are more likely to be a responsible driver.

The Top 3 Most Dangerous Highways in America

most dangerous highways

Highways are some of the most common roads in the country, going through and between states. A research and analysis organization called Value Penguin took data from all the highways in America between 2010 and 2016 and determined which are the most dangerous. The three factors they considered in their rankings were fatalities per crash, percentage of fatal nonvehicle crashes, and fatal crashes per vehicles miles traveled per capita. From there, they found that these three highways were the most dangerous in America.

  1. US-93 Arizona. Between the specified years, there were only 70 fatal crashes with 90 fatalities. While this may seem low, compared to other highways, remember that there are more two other determining factors than just the number of fatalities. While the road is a popular route between Phoenix and Las Vegas, the most dangerous section was in Mohave County, Arizona.
  2. SR-9 Oklahoma. The second largest highway in the state, it stretches for 348 miles going east and west across Oklahoma. There were 50 crashes with 60 fatalities during the years examined and the most dangerous section was in Cleveland County, Oklahoma.
  3. US-160 Colorado. This highway starts in New Mexico and ends near the Kansas state border. It is known for the steep roads and multiple switchbacks, including a dangerous portion called Wolf Creek Pass. The most dangerous part is through La Plata County. There were 80 fatal crashes with 99 fatalities in these years.

Driving Safely

There are many driving tips that can help keep drivers safe on highways. Many of these go back to driving school basics, but reviewing them can help remind drivers that the most simple tips are often the best. Here are the best ways to stay safe on any highway.

  • Don’t drive distracted. Put your phone away, keep eating to a minimum, and limit conversations with passengers. Staying alert and attentive is the most important job of a driver.
  • Don’t drink and drive. It is never safe to operate a vehicle if you are not in top condition. Driving under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs, or some prescription medications can increase the dangerous conditions for any driver and the cars around them on the road.
  • Drive well-rested. Driving while drowsy is just as dangerous as driving while drunk. If you find yourself starting to get tired, switch drivers or pull off the road and take a nap.
  • Keep calm. Don’t engage in road rage. Keeping your aggressive driving to a minimum can help you stay levelheaded and safe. Don’t speed, tailgate, or do an angry gesture to another driver. If you find yourself getting upset, remove yourself from the situation by pulling off the road, doing calm breathing, or putting on calm music.

The most important tip of all is to make sure everyone in your vehicle is wearing a seatbelt. Sometimes there are circumstances you cannot control. Other vehicles might crash into you, there could be a slippery patch of road, or there is a problem with the car. If everyone is wearing their seatbelts, the likelihood of the crash being fatal decreases.

If you are interested in having teen drivers training courses that cover these safety tips and more, look at our programs. A great education can help provide a solid foundation for years of driving.

3 Ways to Safely Manage Tech While Driving

Managing Tech while Driving

Safety features for technology use is becoming a big focus for car makers. Distracted driving has become such a problem that safety features include lane drifting alerts, sonar alarms, and automatic braking systems to help avoid crashes. It does not take long for something bad to happen if you get distracted and take your eyes off the road. The most frequently mentioned distraction while driving is technology. Even though most drivers know they should not check a text while driving, many still rationalize it’s only for a second. Unfortunately, that is all it takes to crash. Here are three ways you can manage technology safely to be a responsible driver.

  1. Program before you go. One of the most common reasons drivers give for needing to use their phones while driving is for the GPS or maps. One of the best tactics for driving safely while using a maps app is to program the address into the app before driving. Do not wait to plug in the address until you are already on the road. Take the time to review the route and know what to expect. Having a general idea on the directions helps relieve some stress and can help you plan accordingly. Setting the app to vocalize directions can also help keep your attention on the road.
  2. Change your settings. Two great settings for driving are voice controls and “Do Not Disturb”. The voice controls are used for the phone. Many cars are equipped to have your phone sync in. With a press of a button on the steering wheel or saying a certain phrase out loud, you can ask your phone to call people or read your text messages to you.
    The other setting called “Do Not Disturb” allows your phone to still receive messages, phone calls, and alerts, but keeps them silent while turned on. Some phones can even send a message that you are driving and will get back to them once you arrive at your location. These controls can help keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road. 
  3. Commit to never text while driving. It is easy to become comfortable while driving and multi-tasking helps people feel productive. Recommit to not texting while driving. Commit to staying focused on the road. Promise yourself that you will pull off the road if you need to send or read a text. If you have a passenger, ask them to remind you if you reach for your phone or have them respond to a text for you if it is important. The consequences for being distracted while driving are not worth it. 

Even though technology takes a lot of criticism for distracting driving, it also can help solve the problem. There is no question that technology has improved life and can improve safety too when used correctly. The responsibility for using technology wisely falls with each individual person. Whether you are a new driver or experienced one, when it comes to managing technology on the road safely, make the right choice to stay focused.