Think of all the places you go every day throughout the weeks, months, and years. You have a lot of responsibilities and demands on your time. It’s essential that you drive safely so you can arrive on time and without incident to your destination. Sometimes, you can’t avoid collisions and other misfortune on the road. However, if you do your part, you can increase the chance of having safe trips each time you get behind the wheel. Distractions are everywhere, though, and they’re common reasons people get into trouble while in the driver’s seat. It’s important to understand the sources of these distractions so you can avoid and eliminate them.
Prior to the 21st century, smartphones were not a distraction to anyone, because they did not exist. Now, they’re everywhere. It’s estimated that 76% of people in advanced economies have smartphones. That means as you’re on the road with other drivers, they probably have such a device with them in their car, and there’s a good chance their phones are within reach. These technological marvels are wonderful communication tools and sources of instant information. But they don’t mix well with driving. If you’re texting, talking, or internet searching while in the driver’s seat, you can’t possibly focus completely on the road as you should. It’s unlikely that people are going ditch their phones for good. It is reasonable, though, to ask drivers to keep their devices in a secure place away from reach and easy accessibility.
As technology advances in the world of cell phones, so it does with other media. New vehicles come equipped with satellite radio, DVD players, LCD displays, navigation tools, and more. While these are excellent resources for entertainment and even finding your way, you should use them with caution. Messing around with the radio station or plugging in coordinates on the GPS are common ways you might see people driving while distracted. Leave these tasks to a passenger. Or, if you’re alone, wait until you arrive at a stoplight.
It’s not unusual to see drivers cruising down the road with a dog on their lap. Even a pet in the passenger’s seat or back seat can be a distraction. A driver may frequently turn his or her attention to the pet’s activities, taking focus away from the more important job of operating the car. Pets are also prone to moving around the vehicle, further distracting the driver.
Eating and Drinking
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a person who hasn’t eaten on the run. Your fast-paced life often leaves little time for a sit-down meal, so you grab a bite to eat while you drive. Doing this usually requires you to drive with one hand. Also, what happens if you spill or drop your food? Even taking your eyes off the road for a second could have disastrous consequences.
Don’t fall victim to these dangerous activities. If you’re guilty of any of them, stop today and commit to being a safer, less distracted driver.