Distracted drivers cause most of the road accidents in the US. Not drunk drivers, not inexperienced or elderly ones, but perfectly able drivers who just happened not to be paying attention at the moment.
It should be needless to say that paying attention while you’re behind the wheel is alfa omega to good driving, but the numbers prove that many vehicles on the road is doing everything but focusing on their driving.
Here is how you can stay focused and alert while driving to avoid putting yourself or others at risk, making it a bit safer to be out on the road again.
Stay off the phone
New laws have rolled out the last months which forbids drivers to use their cell phones while the car is in motion. This is a good thing, and officials are expecting the signals this Bill sends to help reduce the number of fatalities caused by distracted drivers.
While texting and social media are strictly forbidden, you’ll still be allowed to use handsfree and in-dash navigation systems, though, so don’t despair.
Being caught mid-text while you’re also behind the wheel could mean a juicy fine of up to $200 – and for repeat offenders, it could mean some time in jail.
It’s a good idea to keep your hands off the phone altogether. If you need to make an emergency call, pull off the road, take your time, and get back out there when you’re ready to focus.
Limit the number of passengers
Talking to others on the phone and using social media can certainly be distracting, but so can your fellow passengers in the car. If you find it impossible to concentrate while other people are talking, you may want to limit the number of passengers you take onboard – or just tell them to stay quiet.
This is especially true for novice drivers, by the way, who are often young and a bit too eager to participate in the conversations in the back seat. Any insurance company and car accident lawyer can testify to the number of accidents where cars packed with teenagers are involved, so keep the environment in the car as quiet and focused as possible.
Don’t eat and drink in the car
Busy people tend to be distracted drivers as well, so finish your breakfast or lunch before rolling out of the garage. It’s just as bad as being occupied with social media when you should be concentrating on the road, really, as your hands well as your mind are focused on eating.
Tell your fellow passengers the same if you have a brand new car and you suspect that their fast food habits may distract you.
When you want to make the roads a safer place and be a responsible driver, you have to be able to set boundaries. If someone is being noisy and refuses to calm down, pull over and get them out of your car. It may seem harsh, but it’s a lot better than being involved in an accident – and you’ll keep the other drivers a lot safer too.