Distracted driving rarely ends well. But with so much going on in your life (and your backseat), staying focused while on the road can be difficult. World champion drag racer Elaine Larsen of Larsen Motorsports knows all about the importance of focus while on the road.
“It’s all about common-sense driving techniques, awareness and proper maintenance,” Larsen says. Below are her top mindful driving tips.
Minimize distractions. For Elaine in her jet dragster, that means no talking into her headset; for the rest of us, that means no texting and driving and being mindful of other distractions like a blaring radio or friends or pets who have come along for the ride.
Focus on where you’re going. Whether that means checking traffic conditions before you leave, monitoring road closures or construction, or even scouting your route in advance, familiarity with what’s outside your windshield contributes to safe, more focused driving.
Keep your windshield clean and clear, and keep an eye on what’s happening down the street. That helps reaction time if something unexpected happens.
Keep the inside clutter-free. Ever tried to put the brakes on with an empty soda cup stuck beneath the pedal? Be sure to have your insurance and registration paperwork within easy reach, as well.
Before leaving, conduct a visual inspection. Tires properly inflated? Any loose parts hanging down? Headlight and taillight assemblies intact? You may also want to consider checking the terminals on your battery for corrosion.