Keeping your eyes on the road and focusing 100% on driving safely while behind the wheel seems a pretty common-sense statement. Most would agree that concentrating on being the best driver you can be makes sense, but we all know and have been guiltyof driving while distracted.
Recent research indicates that as many as 1 in every 10 automobile accidents is caused by some type of driver distraction. An even scarier statisticstates that as many as 15 people are killed EVERY DAY due to some type of distracted driving behavior. Unfortunately, we are so accustomed to our driving habits that we often find ourselves doing other things while driving instead of focusing solely on the task at hand.
Here we will discuss the 5 most common distracting habits to avoid while driving:
- Using Your Cellphone-While a relatively new distraction considering the more than 100-year history of the automobile, cellphone use while driving results in a staggering number of accidents, injuries, and deaths each year. Talking on the phone, texting and using social media while driving are all common reasons cited following these types of distracted driving accidents. Turn your phone off while driving and turn it on when you get to your destination or are safely pulled over.
- Eating and/or drinking-People have been found eating everything from a bowl of cereal to a piping hot slice of pizza while driving and this often is a major distraction that can lead to an accident. Trying to multi-task while driving (eating while driving) pulls your focus from the road as well as full control of your vehicle thus increasing the risk of getting into an accident. Save the meal and save yourself and others by waiting until you reach your destination, or the vehicle is stopped to eat or drink anything.
- Tending to or focusing on another occupant in the car-Another common driving distraction to avoid is dealing with another passenger in the car. Infants or small children rank highly in this area, but pets that are in the vehicle are also the cause of driving distractions as well. Again, if you need to tend to ANYTHING other than driving, pull over safely before you do so.
- Focusing on something that is outside the vehicle-Things that are happening or exist OUTSIDE the vehicle can also be a major source of driving distraction. For instance, a car accident, road work, an interesting sign…anything that takes your eyes and attention from the job of operating your vehicle safely can be a distraction. Do your best to take a quick glance if need be, but make sure to immediately focus your attention back on the road ahead.
- Playing around with your car stereo (changing the radio station, CD, etc.)-One of the great pleasures of driving is cruising while listening to your favorite tunes. But, playing with radio knobs and changing cd’s or picking a song from a playlist on your phone can be a major source of distracted driving. One recommendation is to create a playlist and just hit play so you can focus on the task of driving and not avert your eyes while driving to tend to the music.
While the above is just a partial list, it does represent some of the most common distractions to avoid while driving your vehicle. There are additional distractions that we all should avoid if we are to all drive safer.Absolutely nothing is more important for you to focus your attention on while driving except…driving.