Many of us spend a lot of time in the car driving to and from work, running errands, and taking the kids to and from practice. It’s no surprise that many of us consider the car our home away from home.

The trouble is, the more comfortable we get behind the wheel, the more risks we’re willing to take. The more risks we take while we’re driving, the more likely we are to get into an accident.

Don’t ruin your day, your week, or your life by getting into a car crash. Do your best to avoid everything from fender benders to deadly accidents by making sure you never do these five things while you’re driving.

Use Your Phone

Our phones have become an important part of our lives. They can answer questions, keep us connected to our family and friends, keep us entertained, and more. Although they have permeated our lives, that doesn’t mean they are appropriate everywhere at any time.

Phones are the cause of more than one million car crashes in the United States every year. That’s a lot of crashes because people couldn’t keep their phones on silent in their pockets!

There are laws in place to prevent texting and driving, but there are plenty of other things you should never do on your phone while you drive. They include:

  • Talking on the phone
  • Adjusting the GPS
  • Surfing the internet
  • Watching videos
  • Loading apps and programs

Drink Alcohol

Everyone knows that you shouldn’t drink and drive, and yet, drunk driving accidents happen every day. Many people are simply in denial about how drunk they are, while others don’t want to deal with the inconvenience of finding a different way home. However, for many, it’s simply a matter of not knowing how much they can drink before they are legally drunk.

For a 120-pound person, two drinks is all it takes to reach .08 BAC, while a 180-pound person will reach .08 BAC after four drinks. Even if it’s legal for you to drive, you may still be impaired. At just .02 BAC, visual function declines.

Have just one drink or have no drink at all if you’re going to be driving in order to stay safe.

Smoke Marijuana

Alcohol isn’t the only legal drug that can get you in trouble behind the wheel. Marijuana is legal in multiple states in the U.S. The number of people who use marijuana every day is increasing, which means many more people are getting behind the wheel impaired.

Marijuana affects driving by slowing reaction time and impairing coordination, and it causes difficulty in problem-solving. It is illegal to drive under the influence of this drug, but it’s also downright dangerous, so it’s important to find another means of transportation if you have been smoking marijuana.

Pay Too Much Attention to Your Kids in the Backseat

If you have kids, you know how challenging it can be to drive when they are in the backseat. It isn’t uncommon for parents to almost get in an accident while they’re dealing with what’s happening between siblings on the road.

Although you may be tempted to discipline your kids while you’re driving, you should find a different solution. Figure out how to separate them before you hit the road, or pull over before you have any serious conversations.

Paying too much attention to your kids doesn’t always have to do with discipline! Contorting your body to hand something to your child in the backseat, or actually watching what they can do when they ask can cause an accident too.

Do Things That Should Be Part of Your Morning Routine

In an effort to save time on our morning routine, many people hop in the car and figure they’ll do things on their way to work. People like to do things like eat breakfast, get dressed, and put on makeup.

Doing any of these kinds of things while you’re driving is a bad idea, as they can all distract you from the road. Something as simple as putting on your makeup behind the wheel can make you three times more likely to get into an accident, so it really is best to make sure you complete your morning routine at home.

Don’t get too comfortable in your car and think you can safely do anything behind the wheel. Your job is to focus 100 percent of your attention on the road—not on your phone, food, or other distractions.

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