There are few possessions capable of throwing your finances into turmoil more quickly than a car. From the immediate costs of repairing damages to the long term effects of increased insurance premiums, unsafe driving can have a devastating effect on your bottom line. One of the biggest risks when driving is texting behind the wheel. The good news is there are simple steps you can take to be safer when you drive and to help others make safer decisions as well. Here are some key steps to reducing the risk of accidents every time you get behind the wheel.

How to Be Safer Behind the Wheel

The biggest effect you can have on texting safety is when you are driving, as it’s the one time you have complete control over whether safe practices are followed. There are several simple-to-implement ways to be safer when driving.

Use a Driving Mode

Modern smartphones have multiple ways to reduce the need to pick up your phone and look at it. Driving mode sends an automatic text response to anyone who texts you letting them know you are driving and will text back when you are no longer behind the wheel. Bluetooth connections allow your car to read texts aloud so that you can hear what is said without taking your eyes off the road, while pre-written responses or voice texting allow for brief answers without the need to look down at your phone.

Put Your Phone Away

If you find that the temptation to look at your phone while you drive is simply too strong then the easiest fix is to remove the option from the picture. Store your phone somewhere that you can not easily access it, like the glove box or a closed bag, so that you can’t simply reach down next to you to sneak a peek.

Be a Good Example

It’s especially important to practice safe habits with others in the car, particularly impressionable individuals like your children. When passengers see you driving safely they can emulate it, and conversely, if they see you playing on your phone they are more likely to do the same.

How to Be a Safer Passenger

When you’re not behind the wheel you may not be in control of the car but that doesn’t mean you can’t help to make our roads safe. Encouraging safe habits for all drivers makes us all safer.

Speak Up

If the driver of your car is looking at their phone don’t just sit there quietly. Tell them that it’s not safe and that you aren’t comfortable with them taking their eyes off the road like that.

Help Out

A great way to make your driver stay focused is to offer to handle their phone for them. If they have a text they need to send or want to find a song on their streaming app you can handle it for them so that they can keep their eyes forward.

Being safe behind the wheel is our responsibility to everyone else on the roads. Keeping your phone down and not sending texts is a simple way to drive more safely and reduce your risk of a dangerous and costly accident.