Indiana lawmakers passed the Hands-Free Law in July 2020, making operating a motor vehicle with a phone in your hand illegal. From then until March 2023, authorities issued more than 14,000 citations for breaking this law. While the number of citations has decreased each year, more people than ever are dying or being injured by distracted drivers who are watching videos, daydreaming, eating, drinking or doing some other activity that distracts their attention from the road. Practicing mindful driving can help stop distracted driving.
Put your phone out of sight
Many drivers still find it tempting to look at their phones while driving. Avoid falling into this trap by putting your phone on its “do not disturb” setting and putting it out of sight. Some drivers stick their phones in the glove box or throw them on the passenger floorboard so that they cannot tempt them.
Practice deep breathing
If you get caught at a red light, then take some deep breaths in through your nose and let them out slowly through your mouth. This simple exercise helps you be more alert and reminds you to be present in the moment, helping you release the stress that can lead to car accidents.
Make a verbal commitment to driving distraction-free
If someone else is in the vehicle with you, tell them that you are committing to driving distraction-free and ask them to make you accountable. Distracted driving is often a problem for parents who drive with their children in the car, so give your children a quiet activity to do so that they will stay busy.
Get a good night’s sleep
Getting drowsy behind the wheel is another type of distracted driving that causes motor vehicle accidents. Therefore, ensure you get a good night’s sleep by practicing a bedtime routine that eliminates blue light from electronics in your bedroom.
Distracted driving is killing and hurting more drivers than ever before despite legislation making it illegal to drive and be on your phone. Practicing mindfulness can help.