Operating a vehicle is a dangerous and potentially deadly activity. It takes focus, practice and skill. Distracted driving is on the rise, is causing more frequent, costly and too often fatal accidents and results in higher insurance costs. To safely get you to your destination, the District of Columbia Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking (DISB), in partnership with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), recommends the following guidelines:
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 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 that might tempt you to take your hands off the wheel. Use a hands-free device for phone conversations.
- Be sure everyone fastens their seatbelts. Unrestrained (unbuckled) occupants account for nearly half of all traffic fatalities.
- Provide activities for small children like puzzles, reading material, movies and games. Remember to attach the ear or headphone if needed.
- Eat meals or snacks before or after your trip, not while you are driving.
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), should 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. It will save lives and money.
WreckCheck App for Smartphones
When auto accidents occur, use the NAIC's WreckCheck™—a free mobile app that outlines what to do immediately following an accident and walks users through a step-by-step process to create their own accident report on site. Follow these links: iPhone® and Android® to download the app. Don't have a smartphone? Download a printable accident checklist and other tips for staying calm, safe and smart on the road.
For more information, contact DISB at 202-727-8000, email [email protected] or follow us on Twitter at @DCDISB.