3 ways to cut down on distracted driving

Three ways to cut back on phone use while driving.

People have a hard time putting down the phone when behind the wheel, despite knowing the dangers of it. Sadly, this bad habit is the reason why more than 1,000 people are injured daily in reported crashes involving a distracted driver.

Some states have passed laws that prohibit texting while driving; others ban cellphone use altogether.

Despite efforts to decrease the number of distracted-related incidents, drivers are the ones who must choose to put the phone down so they can focus on the road.

Here are three ways to cut back on phone use while driving.

Use driver-friendly apps. There are a ton of apps that can help drivers leave their phones alone. Some apps like Lifesaver and Drivesafe.ly completely block notifications when the car is in motion. They have auto features that read all caller names, text messages, and emails aloud. Then, there are apps like Mojo that give out special offers and reward points to drivers who go certain distances without touching their phones.

Use "Do Not Disturb." Both Apple and Android offer safe driving modes. If your iPhone has iOS 11 or later software running, then you can enable the "Do Not Disturb while driving," option. Google offers the Android Auto app. Your Android has to be running either 5.0 (Lollipop) or Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) for best performance. If your car has Bluetooth connection, you can manually change it in your settings so that the app is activated when the phone connects to your vehicle.

Listen to music or podcasts. Not only are podcasts informative but they're great for keeping your mind occupied enough to focus on the road. Music is relaxing and makes the drive fun. If you need a variety, try listening to a different genre or a new artist. Podcasts and music are perfect for surviving long commutes. So before hitting the gas, put the phone away and pick a playlist. You just might like being disconnected from your phone.

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