New gadgets could lead to distracted driving - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

New gadgets could lead to distracted driving

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With new technology, comes new distractions. Whether it's cell phone use, or even Wi-Fi in some cars, drivers are being encouraged to ignore distractions and keep their eyes on the road.

According to the National Safety Council, an estimated 24 percent of traffic crashes are caused by cell phone use. The Illinois State Police offer the following tips to stay focused on the road:

  • Pull over to use the phone and know how the phone's controls work in case a call is absolutely unavoidable.
  • Adjust seat positions, climate controls, sound systems, and other devices prior to leaving or while the vehicle is stopped, use presets for radio and climate control, or have a passenger help you.
  • Don't multi-task while driving. Multi-tasking includes using mirrors for personal grooming and reading or writing while behind the wheel.
  • Pull over to care for children, including changing babies, feeding children, and buckling them into their seats before leaving.
  • Stop to eat or drink and if you can't avoid eating while driving, try to avoid messy foods.

The owner of Drive Right School of Driving in Rockford, Barry Molencupp, makes sure all students are familiar with controls before they begin learning to drive.

"Take wipers, headlights, they vary from car to car and we try to get the students familiar with just the basics," he said.

He added that drivers in general should keep their eyes moving, keep their distance from other vehicles, and do the speed limit.

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