Distracted driving describes a situation where a motorist or a driver takes part in an activity that is not related to the actual vehicle operation while driving or riding. Such an activity can potentially shift the driver’s focus from the primary objective – safely operating the vehicle and focusing on traffic conditions on the road. Around 9 individuals die, and over 1,000 become incapacitated in crashes that involve distracted drivers each day in the United States. For instance, most drivers operate their mobile devices as they drive, which makes it hard to concentrate on the driving. All distracted driving activities increase the risk of being involved in an accident. This article provides an overview of some of the common causes of distracted driving, as well as how to avoid them.
Common Causes of Distracted Driving
Numerous aspects can lead to distracted driving. The common ones include:
- Operating the cell phone (texting, talking on the phone, etc.) while driving. This makes you concentrate more on the phone instead of concentrating on the element of driving.
- Eating as you drive is another common cause of distracted driving.
- Other people tend to surf the web while driving
- In other cases, some people get distracted from driving by entertainment devices or watching movies and listening to loud music while driving.
- Reading – be it a textbook, newspaper, email or visually reading instructions or directions
Though most distractions can be avoided, there are some distractions you cannot prevent completely but it is easy to manage them. You need to be fully attentive as you drive, so it is essential to eliminate all distractions to focus on the road. It is also advisable to ensure that your vehicle has the appropriate insurance since accidents can occur anytime.
Tips for Avoiding Distractions While Driving
- Focus fully on driving and do not allow anything to divert your attention. Ensure you use your mirrors, scan the road actively and watch out for cyclists and pedestrians.
- Store your possessions or any kind of loose gear that can roll around in your car properly. This way you will not be tempted to reach for them on the seat or floor as you drive.
- Make all the necessary adjustments before you hit the road. This includes addressing vehicle systems such as your seats, GPS, climate controls, mirrors and sound systems. Pick the route you will take ahead of time and check the traffic condition to know if it is your best option.
- Consider eating your snacks or meals before or after your trip. If you have to eat as you drive, be sure to avoid messy foods that are hard to manage.
- Secure pets and kids before getting underway. In case they need your attention, just pull off the road and take care of them. It is not advisable to reach out to the backseat since you could lose control of the vehicle easily.
- Put aside all your electronic devices when driving. Avoid using cell phones as you drive –whether hands-free or handheld. It is not advisable to use email functions, text messaging, and the internet or play video games while driving.
Although distracted driving is a common problem, you can prevent it by following these outlined tips. Always remember that anything that hinders you from focusing on the road as you drive is a distraction and you should take care of it before or after the trip, not when you are behind the wheel.
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