How to Avoid Distracted Driving
Ways to Avoid Distracted Driving
We all lead busy lives. We are often in a time crunch and are trying to juggle multiple tasks such as dropping the kids off, running errands, replying to a quick text, and stopping for coffee or a quick bite. However, driving while distracted is very dangerous and could result in a serious accident injuring yourself and others.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving claimed the lives of 3,477 people and was involved in 391,000 accidents in 2015 alone. The National Safety Council conducted a study and found that cell phone use was under-reported in accidents. The AAA Foundation additionally found that distractions, such as the ones listed below, place a high cognitive burden on drivers. Even Wired Magazine wrote an article about it recently. Simply put, distracted driving is dangerous and the human mind lacks the ability to properly focus on driving while doing multiple tasks.
Grooming and Eating
Even though you may be rushed, please allow yourself time to eat and get ready before you run out the door and into your car. Driving while you eat, comb your hair, put on makeup, and so on are behaviors you want to avoid while driving. These distractions increase your chance of an accident by slowing your reaction time and awareness.
Before You Take Off
Before getting in your car, make sure you have everything you need so you don't become distracted by trying to find something. Also, make you know where you are going and that you properly adjust the seat and mirrors before you leave. If you become lost, pull over to check directions.
Mobile Phone Use
Smart phones make it to easy to check messages, emails, or web pages on the go. However, when you are driving and your phone rings or buzzes to alert you of a text message or email, it can be tempting to pick it up. Just briefly looking at your phone briefly is a huge risk when you’re driving. Just wait and check when you have reached your destination. Even looking away from the roadway for a couple of seconds can have disastrous consequences. Personally, I have seen many drivers staring down at their electronic devices while sitting in traffic. If it is an emergency and you need to respond, then carefully find a safe place to pull over and only do so then.
Securing Your Belongings
Spilled hot or cold drinks can surely distract you while driving, so be sure to secure all loose items. You can avoid having to look around your vehicle, bending over to pick something up, or reaching for an item. Additionally, loose items rolling around the driver's floorboard can become lodged behind the brake or gas pedal reducing functional use of them.
Focus on Driving
While operating a vehicle, your primary focus should always be on driving the vehicle. Avoid distractions as much as possible. Drive carefully and responsibly. Pay attention to the traffic around you, the traffic signals, and other rules of the road.