(NC) Distracted driving has become a huge safety issue, causing a rise in collisions, insurance rates and fatalities. With colder weather and unpredictable road conditions ahead, it’s more important than ever to arm yourself with the tools to combat distracted driving, many of which exist thanks to modern technology.

“There are some simple fixes that will go the distance in helping you become a more attentive, considerate driver,” explains Michael Bettencourt, managing editor at Autotrader.ca. “Road safety is everyone’s responsibility, so it’s important to do your part to keep our streets safe.”

Take advantage of electronic aids. Many new vehicles come standard with safety features such as blind spot, collision and lane-departure warnings, as well as autonomous braking.

Look ma, no hands. Reduce the possibility of being distracted with texts, alerts or calls by setting up Bluetooth while parked or putting your cellphone in do not disturb mode.

The myth of multitasking. Don’t eat or smoke while behind the wheel. It can be tempting to multi-task, but make a conscientious effort to focus solely on driving and paying attention to your surroundings.

Secure the cabin. Properly secure children, pets and other loose items that may roll around the vehicle and take your attention away from the road.

Find more tips at www.autotrader.ca/newsfeatures.