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A 'Wreck-less Checklist' can help you avoid driving distractions

Most of us think of texting and talking on the phone when we hear the term "distracted driving." However, there are many other activities in which drivers engage that can take their eyes and minds off the road.

The Auto Alliance and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons have developed a "Wreck-less Checklist" for drivers to refer to whenever they get behind the wheel. By taking care of the items on the checklist before you begin your trip, you'll have fewer distractions.

-- In addition to buckling your seat belt, adjust your headrest, seat and mirrors so that they're in a comfortable position.

-- Have your sunglasses and other items you may need while you're driving within easy reach. If you need to touch up your make-up or comb your hair, do it now or wait until you've reached your destination.

-- Preload any CDs or mp3 playlists and set the volume to the appropriate level. Remember not to have it so loud that you can't hear horns or sirens.

-- If you are using a navigation system, enter your destination and briefly review the directions.

-- Put any handheld electronics, reading materials, food and drinks out of your reach so that you won't be tempted by them.

If you're riding with a driver who fails to do these things, it's a good idea to provide a polite, but firm, reminder. Your life is literally in that driver's hands.

If a loved one is killed in a crash caused by someone else, it's a good idea to seek legal guidance from an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you seek compensation for medical care, lost wages, funeral expenses and other damages.

Source: Decide to Drive, "Driving Tips," accessed Feb. 16, 2017

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