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Proven Ways to Stop Texting and Driving Once and For All

Despite knowing the dangers of texting and driving, many people still do it. Take these steps to keep your hands on the wheel and off of your phone.

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Texting and drivingPhoto: Shutterstock

Understand That the Dangers of Texting and Driving Are Very Real

The Canada Safety Council reports that about 26 per cent of all crashes involve phone use, including hands-free phone use. According to the Government of Canada, economic losses caused by traffic collision-related health care costs and lost productivity are at least $10 billion annually—almost one per cent of Canada’s GDP. The statistics about the dangers of texting and driving speak for themselves, yet people continue to text and drive despite the danger it can put not only you in, but also other drivers.

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Woman opening car doorPhoto: Shutterstock

Turn Your Phone on Silent or Turn It Completely Off

Not sure how to stop texting and driving? Try turning your cellphone on silent or completely off. That way, you won’t feel obligated to pick it up and respond to a text or answer a call when you hear the notification ding or phone call ring.

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Man talking on the phone while drivingPhoto: Shutterstock

Put Your Phone in an Out-of-Reach Spot

Try putting your phone in the trunk or in your bag that you place on the back seat. This way, even if it rings, you won’t be able to get to it. You also won’t be distracted by the constant notifications popping up on your screen.

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Map app on phone in carPhoto: Shutterstock

Set Everything Up Before You Put the Car in Drive

Before you pull out of your driveway or the parking lot, respond to any necessary calls or texts so that you won’t need to once you start driving. Also, if you are going someplace unfamiliar, set your GPS while still in park so that you aren’t messing with it on the road. Many newer cars won’t even let you operate the GPS when you’re not in park.

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Man and woman passengers textingPhoto: Shutterstock

Choose a Designated Texter

Similar to having a designated driver to avoid drunk driving, choose one of your passengers to be your dedicated texter. They can answer all of your calls and text messages while you keep your eyes on the road.

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Man texting after pulling car overPhoto: Shutterstock

Pull Over

If your message or text can’t wait, pull over to answer. If it’s a quieter road, pull over and put your hazards on. If you’re on the highway, wait for a rest stop or text stop to pull over.

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Friends texting in car while on road tripPhoto: Shutterstock

Use Apps That Block Texting and Driving

There are many apps you can download to help you avoid texting and driving. Some stop your phone from receiving text messages and calls while you’re driving, others send automatic reply messages explaining that you are driving and aren’t able to answer right now. Some apps even reward you for not texting and driving; they track when you’re on the move and will give you with coupons and discounts depending on how far you travel without touching your phone.

Now that you have the tools to stop texting and driving, check out 12 more things you should never do while driving.

Originally Published on Reader's Digest