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Tips for Avoiding Distracted Driving

Distracted driving in North Carolina is defined as operating a vehicle without paying full attention to the activity. Drivers who succumb to driving distractions such as texting and driving are more likely to cause or be involved in auto accidents, which may result in injuries, fatalities and even property damage.

Distracted drivers are more likely to react slower to traffic conditions than drivers who are focused on the road. Inattentive drivers are also more likely to miss potential safety hazards or are less likely to skillfully conduct preventative or evasive moves to avoid an accident.

While learning the facts about distracted driving may deter some drivers from committing such a violation, the best way to prevent distractions while driving is to develop practical strategies and be mindful of the consequences related to your behavior.

Thus, the NCDOT offers tips on how to avoid driving distractions and strategies to remain focused on the road and the act of driving. Below is a list of suggestions that drivers can employ to stay safe and attentive while driving:

Inside the Vehicle

  • Avoid texting or talking on a phone while driving (Texting while driving is illegal in North Carolina)
  • Don't eat while driving
  • Program radio stations or music devices for easy access and select music before driving
  • Keep the stereo at a volume low enough to hear sounds outside the vehicle such as sirens, horns or screeching tires
  • Designate a front-seat passenger to serve as a "co-pilot" to avoid having to fumble with maps or navigation systems. If driving alone, map out destinations in advance
  • Do personal grooming at home, not on the road
  • Ask children and adult passengers to be respectful of your driving
  • Make sure pets are in a carrier
  • Stop the vehicle before responding to text messages or phone calls
  • Take breaks from driving if you are feeling fatigue Outside the Vehicle
  • Avoid reading signs or watching activity on the roadside for long periods of time
  • Do not stop and talk to people who are outside the vehicle
  • Only allow passengers to get inside when it is parked in a safe location. Do not pick them up at stoplights or stop signs

For most licensed NC drivers, distracted driving penalties include fines of $100 and an infraction conviction. But texting and driving violations do not accumulate demerit points on driving records.

Drivers must be aware that other penalties and charges may be expected. For example, reckless driving convictions and vehicular homicide charges are possible if a distracted driving accident results in a fatality.

U Drive U Text U Pay