Road Safety: Why It’s Important To Avoid Distractions While Driving
By Space Coast Daily // November 15, 2021
Distracted driving is one of the biggest road safety problems in places like the US. Drivers are distracted by the infotainment systems in their cars, eating, drinking, talking on the phone, texting, and even grooming themselves.
Distractions are such a significant problem on the road that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report found that distracted driving was the leading cause of motor vehicle collisions among drivers age 16 and older.
In this post, you will discover why driving while distracted is so dangerous, as well as how you can avoid it.
Why Is Distracted Driving Dangerous?
Distracted driving is dangerous. It can take your life or the life of someone else. The dangers of distracted driving are well-known, which is why it’s essential to keep your phone out of reach when you’re operating a vehicle. It’s not just that you’re more likely to crash, but that distractions can actually make the car harder to control and respond to sudden changes in traffic.
In fact, it is one of the leading causes of car accidents involving a lot of time and effort by emergency services and the car accident lawyers attempting to provide justice. Therefore, to prevent these accidents, take a break from time to time. It is best to put your phone away while driving because it inhibits your reaction time and causes many casualties due to distracted driving.
If you’re not using your phone for any other purposes, then it’s best to turn off all notifications while you’re on the road. How can you avoid this seemingly innocent but extremely dangerous driving habit? Here are some tips.
How To Avoid Becoming Distracted While Driving
It is extremely easy to fall victim to distraction in this day and age. Everyone understands that they should remain focused, but distraction can sometimes creep in with mobile technology, young children, and everyday life. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to avoid it.
Don’t Eat While Driving
Most people agree that it is not advisable to eat while driving. The dangers of eating while driving are obvious. When people ignore the advice and continue to eat while traveling, the consequences can be severe. It may seem like an innocuous activity, but all it takes is your hot coffee to spill on your lap or too big a mouthful to handle, and you could find yourself in a severe incident.
Therefore, keep the food out of the car and if you find yourself feeling peckish during your journey, simply pull over (this will be a running theme throughout the post).
Know The Route In Advance (Or Pre Program Your GPS)
Most modern cars have built-in systems that connect directly with your iOS or Android device and display versions of their mapping software to guide you to your destination. This is fantastic, and if you have it, you should use it and pre-program in advance to avoid removing your eyes from the road too often. On the other hand, most accidents tend to occur when people use their mobile devices separately.
It is not a good idea to do this because your phone will constantly display all sorts of distracting notifications. If you don’t have any other option, you can set your device to turn off notifications while driving and then turn them back on once you arrive at your location.
Avoid Personal Grooming While In Motion
It can be straightforward to fall into the trap of grooming while driving because mirrors surround the interior of your car. However, it would be best to remember that apart from the sun visor vanity mirror, all other mirrors are functional and must only be used for driving.
If you have the sudden urge to rearrange your hair, you should pull over, or better yet, simply wait until you arrive where you are heading. You would be shocked if you could count the number of seconds that your eyes are not focused on the road while grooming yourself. You should aim your eyes at the road at all times, no exceptions.
Check Your Car Before Heading Off
Checking your vehicle before setting off is something that is typically advised in all driving tests but typically never adhered to. Most people are in too much of a hurry to perform a cursory check before driving off, but this could end up costing you your life or the life of another road user.
If you are in the middle of driving and hear strange sounds coming from your wheels, it is tempting to strain to see what’s wrong while you are still moving. As a result, you are not only wasting your valuable time not looking at the road, but you are also less in control of your vehicle and unable to respond to emergencies.
You should leave yourself enough time to perform a five-minute basic check of your car to see if your wheel looks ok and if anything is strange. If you have done this and still feel something isn’t right, you should pull over and take some time to check or call a motoring association to help if you are a member.
Don’t Use Your Phone
The dangers of using your mobile device while driving are so prevalent that it is actually banned in many countries worldwide. Studies have shown that people are more likely to have an accident while using their phone while driving than when they are not. Additionally, they are more likely to have an accident if the person in front of them is also using their phone.
If you need to take a call, the best option is to pull over. You put yourself at risk by fiddling with your phone while attempting to answer or find it on the highway. If you need to use your phone, consider a hands-free device or, to continue with the theme of this post, pull over to take calls or use your messaging apps.
Hopefully, you are sufficiently convinced to avoid distractions while driving. The primary reason for this is that it will improve your safety. If nothing else, remember that driving is a privilege, not a right, and always, always, pay attention to the road.