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3 Simple Ways to Avoid Distracted Driving

April 19, 2022

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Driving is a part of our everyday life in the United States – especially here in Florida. From scenic drives on the coast to managing commutes on our interstates, we all enjoy the freedom that driving a car can provide. Along with that freedom, however, comes great responsibility.

Each of us has a responsibility, whenever we sit behind the wheel of a vehicle, to ensure that we arrive safely to our destination and do not cause a problem for those around us.  Unfortunately, for many Floridians, this is not the case.

According to the Florida Department of Transportation eight people are killed and 49 people are injured on Florida’s roads every day.

While some of these crashes are unavoidable or are caused by impaired drivers, many are caused by people who become distracted while driving. For your safety and for the safety of everyone on the road, we encourage you to take steps to avoid distractions while driving.

To help, here are three simple ways you can avoid distractions when you are behind the wheel.

1. Put Down Your Phone

Whether you have the newest iPhone with the latest safety features or are still happy with the old flip phone, the recommendation is the same. Before you begin driving, put your phone away.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, when you read or send a text message you are forced to take your eyes off of the road for approximately five seconds. If you’re driving at 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed.

In addition to keeping you safe, you are required by law to refrain from texting while driving. In 2019, the Wireless Communications While Driving Law took effect in Florida. This law allows law enforcement to stop motor vehicles and issue citations to motorists who are texting and driving.

2. Take Advantage of Safety Features

Many new phones and mobile devices are equipped with safety features to help you prevent distractions while driving. Some of these safety features include “Do Not Disturb” modes, Bluetooth connections to your vehicles audio system and voice-activated responses to text messages.

In addition to these safety features, there are many reputable apps for mobile devices that are designed to help you avoid distractions while driving.

3. Avoid Multitasking

Distractions of any kind are dangerous while driving. According to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles there are three kinds of distractions while driving: Visual distractions that cause you to look away from the road, manual distractions that cause you to take your hands off of the steering wheel, and cognitive distractions that cause you to think about something other than driving. 

For many people, distractions can arise while they are multi-tasking. Eating, reading, talking on the phone, or even listening to music may distract you while you’re driving. While it is difficult, removing any distraction is critical to driving safely at all times.

Whether you’re driving around the block or across the country, eliminating distractions while driving is important to your safety and the safety of others around you.

The Florida Sheriffs Association, in partnership with the Florida Department of Transportation, has made a goal to reduce the number of fatalities and people injured in traffic crashes to zero. To do that, we need your help.  Learn more about how you can get involved at