. Know your vehicle and where controls are located. Preset them before you go, and adjust them when you are stopped.
. Schedule time for breaks and meals. If you must eat or drink in your car, unwrap packages or remove lids while the car is stopped.
. If you need to consult a map or other directions, pull off the road or let your passenger be the navigator.
. Wait until you get to where you're going to read or write a note.
. Keep conversations light. If necessary, pull over or suggest to your passenger(s) that you talk in more detail when you have arrived.
. Never use wireless data services such as text messaging, web browsing or e-mail while operating a vehicle.
. Avoid unnecessary calls on your cell phone. Let the call go to your voice mail if traffic is heavy or driving conditions are poor.
. If you must make or receive a call:
- Keep conversations brief and avoid engaging in stressful or emotional conversations.
- Advise the person to whom you are speaking that you are driving.
- If necessary, suspend the call or safely pull off the road.
. Pull over to deal with children in the back seat, and secure pets in a separate location so as not to distract the driver.
. While personal grooming is important, give yourself enough time to get ready before you get in your car, or wait until you get to your destination to freshen up.
. Avoid leaning over to search for items such as sunglasses, cell phone or wallet while in motion. Take a minute to make sure you have everything before you go, or wait until you stop to look around.
. Always buckle up, keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road.
For more information on distracted driving and more strategies to reduce the risk, visit www.focusondriving.ca.