Consider the following ideas to reduce distractions:
- Cell phone: Illinois law allows drivers over 19 to talk on hands-free devices with certain restrictions. However, hands-free is not risk-free. Consider turning off the phone, disabling text messages, or setting up an automatic response to let callers know you are unavailable to talk or text. Use the cell phone only for emergency.
- Inside the car: Program the route on your GPS before you leave. Adjust seat position, temperature control, music selection, mirrors, and other vehicle controls before putting the car in gear. Organize the IPASS, money for tolls, and other essentials that you will need during the trip. Stow loose gear to prevent spills while in route. Avoid eating, drinking, grooming and smoking while driving. Crate your pet for transportation.
- Passengers: Securely strap children into car seats. Find a place to stop when they need attention. Engage passengers to watch the road, adjust dash controls as needed, and help you focus on driving. Stay away from emotional conversations.
Making a conscious decision to drive with focus will help you reach your destination safely.