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How to avoid the biggest driver distractions

How to avoid the biggest distractions we face on the road.

PHOENIX — What's more distracting: your phone, your radio or your kids?

12 News went to the Bondurant School of High-Performance Driving to find out and put ourselves to the test. 

We put Hayden Packwood, one of our digital producers, behind the wheel of an insanely overpowered beast of a car; the 800 hp Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye.

The Bondurant distract driving course would test reflexes, judgment and focus. 

You start at one end and speed up to 45 mph toward three green lights. At the last second, instructor Mike McGovern turns two of them red and you have to swerve into the green lane, without hitting any of the cones. 

That's hard enough on its own, but we added in those three distractions.

RELATED: I took a distracted driving test. It changed the way I drive.

For the first test, Hayden answered a phone call to begin the test and had to give directions from the track, back to the 12 News studios. 

One cone down.

Test number 2 involved the radio. 

Once he got up to speed, Hayden had to change the radio station, which in the Hellcat meant he had to figure out how to do it. 

Another cone down.

Test number 3 was one every parent can relate to: a child that wants attention and won't stop. 

Eventually, Hayden did stop hitting cones. McGovern said his focus increased and he started to anticipate the distractions, which is how you should be driving anyway.

"Once you started to ramp up your focus and concentration," McGovern said, "We saw that performance level go up."

Realistically, we're not going to drive without ever taking phone calls, listening to music or without our kids. So how can you avoid those distractions?

McGovern has three tips:

  • Forget about the phone
  • Always have an escape route if you have to avoid something in the road
  • Give yourself enough room between you and the car in front of you

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