There really isn’t any substantial dispute about the fact that mobile phone distraction while driving is dangerous both for the person driving and for everyone on the road around them. Even though most people actively recognize the risks associated with distracted driving, quite a few people, many of them adults, still give in to that temptation every day.

Some of those drivers who try to check a message or notification while driving could cause a crash that hurts someone or results in major property damage. Why is it so hard for people to just ignore their phones for a little bit? How can you avoid falling victim to the false idea that you can safely use your phone to quickly check a text message while driving?

Phone use can be compulsive in many people

The sound of a notification ping or the vibration of a phone alerting you to a new email can trigger an immediate response in your brain. You feel the immediate urge to check it and verify if you need to take action or respond because years of phone use and the expectation of instant communication have conditioned you to feel like you must respond right away.

Unfortunately, that compulsion doesn’t just end on its own when you’re driving. You still feel like you need to know what the message you have just received says, which can be dangerous even if you don’t reach for your phone to try to check it because it takes your mental focus off of the task of driving.

Put your phone someplace where you can’t see it or hear it while driving

The best way to avoid making the mistake of reaching for or focusing your mental energy on your phone while at the wheel is to keep your phone away from you while you are in the driver’s seat.

Setting the ringer to silent and turning off vibrations will prevent mental distraction caused by incoming alerts. Putting the phone where you can’t see the screen light up can also help. Keeping it out of arm’s reach maybe a good step for those who still struggle not to think about or look for their phone while driving, which can help you avoid causing a crash.