Recently all vehicles are loaded and come with more safety packages. What we don’t realize is, if we are not alert and focused while driving no matter what safety tools will do little job to protect us. Drivers often get distracted by various things, The most distraction comes from handheld phones – texting and driving as it involves visual, manual, and cognitive distractions. There are other factors that contribute for distractions. Let us see what these factors and how we can prevent distraction while driving and be a safe driver.
Distracted driving is a danger that can be preventable. Distracted driving can cause severe damage and could change our lives. For every country distracted driving and driver is just like epidemic disease. More than half a million fatalities happens every year because of distracted driving.
Distracted driving could lead to
- Temporary or permanent physical damage
- Worries and mental health issues
- Blunder that could leave you with life long regret
What are some of the reasons that could cause driving distractions?
- Attending phone calls
- Drunk driving
- Changing radio station
- Watching videos
- Eating and drinking
- Applying makeup
- Handheld GPS and Maps
How to stop distracted driving?
- Phones: Before driving or even better before getting into your vehicle or taking position as a driver, silence and store your phone in your bag. Activate Do not Disturb mode before driving. This will prevent all incoming messages, pinging and calls. It will give you a chance to look at road and to be aware of your driving route.
- Pull over to complete task: If you remember something or to call someone then, pull over either on shoulder or in a parking lot. Complete the task that needs your complete attention and then take position of responsible driver.
- Long drive directions: Before starting your journey, plan your route. This will give an idea what route numbers and names you should be looking at while driving. If you have a fellow passenger, let them be your guide with GPS and maps. Take their help.
- Sound of silence: We all love to listen to music. Teens especially would love to listen to their favorite music while driving. Study has shown teens driving while listening to music is one of the major reason for accidents. Silence is better or reduce the volume so that you are not distracted.
- Keep loose objects tidy: Our vehicles are like our second home. We love to keep thing in car. Loose objects like paper, umbrella, coffee mug, bag etc can cause distraction. Secure all valuables and loose objects in place so that objects are not rolling or moving while driving.
- Eating and drinking: Stop pick up to go food and drink. Pre-order, sit and eat in a place. Eating is a ‘triple threat’ for driving as it involves use of hands, eyes and focusing. All these three are essential for driving. A distraction with these three can result in crash.
- Video watching: Even if you are in a traffic signal, don’t focus on starting or looking at video. Watching motion pictures will shift your focus entirely from road.
- Makeup, grooming etc: Applying makeup or shaving while driving involves use of both hands. Avoid doing any such things that involves both your hands and eyes while driving
- Smoking: Smoking is dangerous to health. Flicking spent ash out of the car window, lighting cigarette – can cause distraction and must be avoided.
- Pets: Let pets be in back seat, secure them in the seat. Do not have pet sit on front seat or on your lap while driving.
- Texting: Say no to texting. It is one of the major cause of fatal accident around the world. Texting is not worth than your life. Message can wait. Make up your mind to say no for texting while driving.
Driving is a huge responsibility that needs focus and care. Even if you are a good and expert driver, distractions listed above could lead to fatality. Moreover, there are others who drive everyday and the person who is on the same road as you could be a distracted driver. It means you need to be alert to be safe from such drivers. Follow the traffic rules, avoid any such distractions and reach place safe.
Author: Sumana Rao | Posted on: December 13, 2022