6 Tips For Staying Focused While Driving

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  • Kaye Li

Sep 9, 2016

    Kaye Li Sep 9, 2016

    “This was really helpful, thank you. I always scare myself while driving and almost doing stupid things while distracted. I feel better now, and a little less stupid.” …” more

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2) Put Your Mobile Phone Away

It’s very important for some people to have their phone on them at all times of the day.  Being away from their cellphone for even a minute is torture for some people.  We aren’t saying that you should leave your phone at home (or even turn it off while you are driving).  Having a working mobile phone with you is actually very important if you get into an accident (or have an emergency on the road).  If you want to stay as safe as possible while driving, however, you need to refrain from cellphone use at all times.  Driving with one hand on the wheel and the other hand on your phone is a recipe for disaster!


Almost everyone has made driving mistakes that can be blamed on being distracted. Missing a turn, running off the road, reacting too slowly to a driver stopped in front of you… all are usually caused when the driver’s attention is somewhere other than on the road.

Have a Positive Attitude

Aside from studying and taking practice tests, very little can do as much for you as having the right outlook or attitude. If you really believe in yourself and the effort you have put into learning about the road rules, then you should believe you are ready to tackle taking the DMV permit exam. Act as if you have already aced the test and have your driver’s permit in your hand. See yourself reading the test questions and knowing the answers, without a doubt. And, picture this while imagining you are not nervous about the exam. If you have done your work, you should have no real reason to be nervous.

5) Keep Your Children At Bay

Loud children can make any drive a nightmare.  To keep them from crying, whining, or throwing things at your face while you are driving, make sure you have enough things in your car to keep them occupied.  Books, CD’s, DVD’s, and video games are all good things to give to your children to keep them quiet.  You should also make sure you have enough snacks and drinks in the car to keep your children well-fed and content.

Additional Resources

More driving safety tips from Nationwide

  • Don’t allow children to fight or climb around in your car – they should be always buckled in their seats. Too much noise can easily distract you from focus on the road.
  • Avoid driving when you’re tired. Be aware that some medications cause drowsiness and make operating a vehicle very dangerous. Learn more about drowsy driving.
  • Always use caution when changing lanes. Cutting in front of someone, changing lanes too fast or not using your signals may cause an accident or upset other drivers.
  • Be extra careful while driving during deer season.

Winter driving tips

Winter brings all sorts of driving headaches: snow, freezing rain and slush, which all make the roads more hazardous. Winter precipitation could not only bring about snow covered roads, but also a lack of road visibility during snowfall and slick roads due to snowflakes sticking to roadways and black ice. As winter driving conditions throw many challenges at motorists, here are some safety tips to help you handle the hassle that comes with winter driving:

  1. First, buckle up. Basic car safety always encourages the use of seat belts and car seats. They’re one of your best defenses in a crash. And it’s the law.
  2. Use extra caution in areas that freeze quickly, especially intersections, shaded areas, bridges and overpasses.
  3. Get in the habit of regularly checking weather reports on TV or online so you can prepare for bad weather. On severe weather days, schools and workplaces might close or delay opening. Consider staying at home if you don’t need to be on the road.
  4. Keep an emergency kit in the trunk of your car – including blankets, a first aid kit and jumper cables. Check out our full list of items for your emergency car kit.
  5. Make sure your cell phone is fully charged and that your car always has a full tank of gas.

To ensure you always have someone on your side when it comes to keeping you and your vehicle safe, learn more about auto insurance from Nationwide.

Practice Permit Tests

Free permit practice tests here on are probably the best way to prepare for your DMV permit test. You can take these tests from the comfort of your own home, any time around the clock. You don’t have to pay for a driver’s license study course when you can take practice tests to advance your learning, for free. If you decide to use another similar site to do a practice test, make sure you find one that includes questions particular to your individual state driving rules! 

Driving-tests provides tests for all states. Choose yours!

You can also get immediate feedback after each question. This means that for any questions you get wrong, you will know right away and be able to work harder on understanding where you need more studying. DMV permit tests are based on random questions from a bank of hundreds of possible questions. Taking multiple practice tests will help you to get a feel for what to expect at the DMV. In many cases, the DMV driving permit tests are just 20 questions, but that means you can only get a very few wrong. Using permit practice tests can really help you be ready for the real thing!


Current studies suggest that some debate about the safety of using mobile phones while driving may be based on intuition and speculation rather than science. AAA will continue to encourage and evaluate related data and research, as it becomes available. AAA also is committed to educating motorists about the dangers of distracted driving and how to manage them.

Tips for managing distractions:

  • Recognize driving requires your full attention. If you find your mind wandering, remind yourself to stay focused on the road.
  • Avoid talking on the phone while driving.
  • If using a phone is unavoidable, use it at a safe time and place, keep the conversation short and postpone emotional or complex conversations until you are off the road.
  • Avoid taking calls while driving. Use the message-taking function on your mobile phone and return calls when stopped at a safe location.
  • Before you get behind the wheel, familiarize yourself with the features of your vehicle’s equipment.
  • Preset radio stations and climate control.
  • Secure items that may move around when the car is in motion.
  • Avoid smoking, eating, drinking and reading while driving.
  • Pull safely off the road and out of traffic to deal with children.
  • Do your personal grooming at home – not in the car.
  • Review maps before hitting the road.
  • Monitor traffic conditions before engaging in activities that could divert attention away from driving.
  • Ask a passenger to help you in activities that may be distracting.

Stay Focused – Keep Your Mind on the Road.