Keep the Road Code: How to Prevent Distracted Driving

Operating a vehicle is the most dangerous and potentially deadly activity we do every day. While a necessary task, it takes focus, practice and skill to safely operate a vehicle moving 80 feet per second (55 mph). The many distractions drivers can face don't help. Researchers and state insurance regulators all point to distracted driving as the cause of more frequent, more costly and too often deadly accidents, resulting in higher insurance premiums. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is here to provide some guidelines to safely get you to your destination.

Start sober. Don't get behind the wheel while impaired — whether it's due to exhaustion, medicine, alcohol or recreational drugs. Drunk/impaired drivers are responsible for approximately 10,000 fatalities a year.

Before the car moves:

  • Plan your route, and set your map or navigation technology before you depart. Don't touch it again until after reaching your destination.
  • Pick your tunes, podcast, station or playlist, and set at a volume that allows you to focus on your driving.
  • Put away your phone, other devices, food, make-up or anything else that might tempt you to take your hands off the wheel.
  • BUCKLE UP. Everyone. Unrestrained (unbuckled) occupants make up nearly half of those killed in accidents.

While on the road:

  • Obey speed limits, and keep your eyes on the road.
  • Ask passengers to help you stay focused on everybody's safety. Passengers (especially teens), speak up if the driver gets distracted or drives unsafely.
  • Parents, your children will learn from your behavior. Be the driver you want them to be.

Keep the ROAD CODE — a commitment to focused, responsible driving. Doing so will save lives and money.

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Distracted Driving is Dangerous
Put your phone away. Eat your food later. Fix your make-up when you arrive.
Plan your drive: map out your drive before you start your car.
Set the example: show others what it means to be safe and focused at the wheel.
Speak up: if a driver isn't focused on the road, let them know the risks of distracted driving.
Keep your eyes ahead: wildlife and scenic wonders can distract you. Find a safe place to park and take in the scene.
Friends and focus: Traveling with friends can be fun, but keep your focus on the road and engage your passengers later.
Navigating new tech: adaptive cruise-control technology can cause a driver's skills to erode. The tech only works if you're focused and sharp.

WreckCheck App for Smartphones

In the course of your lifetime, an auto accident is bound to happen. When it does, take some of the guesswork out of a tense situation with the NAIC's WreckCheck™. This free mobile app for iPhone® and Android® smartphones outlines what to do immediately following an accident and walks users through a step-by-step process to create their own accident report.

Don't have a smartphone? Download a printable accident checklist and other tips for staying calm, safe and smart on the road.

More Information

For more information about auto insurance, please contact your state insurance department.

March 2018

About the NAIC

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is the U.S. standard-setting and regulatory support organization created and governed by the chief insurance regulators from the 50 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories. Through the NAIC, state insurance regulators establish standards and best practices, conduct peer review, and coordinate their regulatory oversight. NAIC staff supports these efforts and represents the collective views of state regulators domestically and internationally. NAIC members, together with the central resources of the NAIC, form the national system of state-based insurance regulation in the U.S. For more information, visit www.naic.org.

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