Driving just got boring thanks to Washington’s new distracted driving law.
Now when you’re driving, you have to do things like pay attention to other vehicles, steer without a phone in one hand and watch traffic lights while you wait for them to turn colors. You might even have to look out the window and end up seeing nature.
But just because you can’t use your phone, doesn’t mean driving can’t be fun anymore. So turn off your phone, put it in your trunk or hand it to another passenger and try these techniques when you get bored:
- Start a conversation with other passengers. Back in the olden days, this is how drivers would stay occupied, whether for long distances or short. Driving alone? Talking to yourself is still legal in all 50 states.
- Sing along with the radio. The louder and more enthusiastic, the better. Just keep your eyes on the road and hands on the wheel. If you’re going to bust some driver seat moves, dance undistractedly.
- Play the alphabet game. Or any number of its variations using road signs, license plates or objects seen from the road.
- Listen to an audiobook or podcast. Nope, it’s not original. But it works.
- Practice speaking in a British accent. You never know when it might come in handy, and you can work out mistakes out in privacy. This is best done when you’re alone in the car or driving with people you don’t like.
- Answer the big questions in life. What is your purpose? What are your next steps in self-actualization? What would you do to solve America’s healthcare crisis? What are you going to have for lunch?
- Pretend you’re in a live competition where the most careful and astute driver wins. I mean, it’s somewhat true, attentive drivers do tend to fare better than their counterparts.
- Let your mind wander. Dream a little. Feel disappointment or regret. Brainstorm for your next vacation. Give the squirrels in your brain a chance to roam free.
- Come up with a good meme entry for Inland360’s meme contest. When you arrive at your destination, make it and send it our way for a free sticker.
- Make the world your social media account. Keep your phone where it is and “like,” “pin” and “favorite” with your words. Stuck at a long stop light? Tweet with your voice: “Traffic is crazy today, been stuck here forever. Practically downtown Seattle. Hashtag speeditup. Hashtag greenmeansgo. Tears of joy emoji, skyscraper emoji, rural farming community emoji.” Getting to use more than 140 characters is just one of many perks to this format.