Everyone is guilty of distracted driving at least once while others are repeat offenders, but what people don’t realize is that preoccupied driving is very dangerous. Teenagers are usually at fault for texting and driving, however experienced drivers can be seen distracted driving as well. Most people are able to operate a vehicle fine while having a phone conversation, a quick lunch, or adjusting the radio, but it only takes a second for an accident to occur. Imagine that you are driving on the highway at 60 MPH, within just a few moments you have covered the distance of a football arena; now imagine that same scenario without looking at the road. This is a good illustration to show the seriousness of driving while distracted. We should all be conscious of our actions and take this into consideration next time you get into a vehicle.
Reasons People Drive Distracted
The Official US Government Website for Distracted Driving states that there are a many repetitive actions that people can avoid to help them drive safer. They also provide many tools and stories of lives that are impacted from distracted driving, below are some of the preventative measures you can take to keep everyone safe.
Do not text or message on your phone or any other device while driving, this ensures that your focus is on the road at all times. Most phones now have a “silent mode” that will quiet the phones messages and calls so take advantage of this setting while you are driving. If it is an emergency and you need to use your phone, pull off to a safe spot to stop the vehicle before messaging.
Put your phone somewhere it won’t distract you. Drivers will see a notification on their phone and naturally go to look at it, removing their eyes from the road. Since this is a normal reaction, it is best to put your phone away in your bag or out of sight so you will not be unfocused.
Eat or Drink before or after you travel in your vehicle. Accidents can happen from simple actions like trying to eat lunch on the go, which is why it is best to eat outside a moving vehicle. Drivers can easily spill a drink or drop their food resulting in the vehicle swerving, changing lanes, or causing an accident.
Passengers Can Be a Distraction
Remember to always focus on the road when having conversations with passengers. It is common for people to ride along with you to work or out with friends, but having others in the car with you can often lead to disturbances while driving.
Always finish getting ready before you get into the car. People don’t realize that looking in the mirror while driving is very dangerous. Sometimes you can see people applying makeup or changing into different clothes while operating a vehicle, but this is very hazardous and taking a moment to do these actions before you leave is easy and helps to keep the road safe.
Have your driving route planned before you begin to travel. Trying to read a map or your phone while operating a vehicle puts others at risk. If you know your destination, it is easier to look at map before you leave or program the address into your GPS. If you decide you must look at a map, pull over and stop the car before doing so.
All media devices should be view-able to the passengers only. Sometimes parents let their kids watch movies or play games in the car and this can be a distraction to the driver. Stay mindful of the road while operating the vehicle and keep all media devices behind the driver.
Adjust the radio while at a complete stop. It can be hard to tune into your favorite station while driving down the road, so make sure to either pre-program your stations or wait until you come to a stoplight to adjust them.
Although some of these suggestions may seem like common sense, many of us do at least one of the distractions listed. Being prepared and aware while driving decreases the chance of an mishap and keeps your family and others safe.