Few of us would admit that we get distracted behind the wheel, but it’s a serious problem. Over 1,000 people in the United States will be in a car accident today due to distracted driving. What qualifies as distracted driving? Anything that takes your attention – no matter how little of it – away from the road. Here are seven big distractions to be aware of right now.
- Cell phones.
The biggest, most obvious, most discussed distraction is definitely our smartphones. In fact, it’s estimated that one in every four accidents involves a phone. Even glancing momentarily at an incoming text or navigation app is enough of a distraction to cause an accident.
Driving can be boring and lonely – unless you have your favorite song to make the trip more enjoyable. But alas, singing along, moving with the beat, and looking away to change the song or adjust the volume is definitely considered distracted driving. Keep the volume reasonably low, and don’t get carried away by the music.
Is it time to go back to obedience school? There’s no way you wouldn’t be distracted by a dog that likes to hop from back to front, wiggling its way in and out of your lap, and obstructing your view by trying to hang out of your window. It’s really best that you buckle your dog up in the back, or keep them in a kennel, if size allows.
Kids take our driving skills for granted. Small children do not care if we’re attempting to merge onto a four-lane highway. If they’re bored or want a snack, you will hear all about it. Unfortunately, this can cause a major accident, so start pressing the importance of passenger etiquette early on.
There’s no one to grab that water bottle from the passenger floorboards for you. The next time you need better access to personal items in your vehicle, wait until you’re stopped. Hopefully, everyone else on the road heeds this warning as well, because you too could instantly find yourself in need of www.levininjuryfirm.com thanks to someone else’s distracted driving.
We’re all short on time, so we understand the urge to have breakfast during your morning commute. But you definitely shouldn’t if you’re the one driving. We’re talking boiling-hot coffee on your lap, choking, and grease on the steering wheel. It’s one of the unsafest practices out there.
When we’re assessing our own driving skill, we probably don’t consider this one. We’ve all driven while we’re angry, especially at another driver. We may have even driven while having a good cry, or when we can’t stop laughing. Believe it or not, all of this is distracted driving. Take stock of how you feel behind the wheel, and decide whether or not you need a moment off of the road to pull yourself together.
Are you surprised to realize how often you’re driving while distracted? While we’re all guilty of it from time to time, it helps to be mindful of how we’re behaving while in gear. With a little more awareness and some better judgement, safer trips are a certainty.