One of the biggest causes of car accidents is distracted drivers. Accidents can happen in a split second and your attention should stay undivided on the road. Unfortunately, many distractions can take our eyes off the road. It is essential to stay focused behind the driver’s wheel to ensure that you and your family reach your destination safely. With technological advancements in vehicles, we became too confident that nothing will happen if we text for 2 seconds while driving, or eat that sandwich to sate our hunger. The truth is: these 2 seconds can be the difference between life and death. Here is a list of common distractions during driving and what to do to avoid them and stay safe.
Cell phones are one of the serious causes of car accidents. Answering important texts or emails will definitely take your eyes off the road which can lead to a disaster. Answering or making calls will reduce the level of attention you pay to the road and it can make you miss auditory signals of immediate dangers. Cell phones take much of our time already as we sit on the couch scrolling through social media or playing music, but we shouldn’t do the same while driving.
Eating and Drinking
Eating and drinking force you to use one hand which lowers the control you have over the vehicle. Some food or liquid may spill and stain your shirt, and that will lead to panic over cleaning your shirt quickly before it gets stained. This panic will take the attention away from driving, and anything can happen in these few seconds.
Similar to eating, smoking can be distracting for several reasons. Besides using one hand to smoke, the smoke coming out of the cigarette or the vape can block your view for a second, or the cigarette embers can get in your eye and force you to close them. The cigarette embers can burn your fingers or fall off in your lap and make you jump out of your seat trying to put it out.
Some distractions are not caused by the driver, yet they distract from driving. For example, when a driver watches another accident on the other side of the road, they take their eyes off their way. There are distractions everywhere and you shouldn’t be tempted to look at them for a long time, as a distracted truck driving accident lawyer states that many truck accidents happened because the driver was looking at something happening around them. Don’t pay attention to the big billboards or beautiful girls walking down the street, and focus on the road to avoid any unpleasant surprises.
How to Be Safe
Use Your Phone for Emergencies Only
Keep your phone on “Do Not Disturb” all the time when you are driving to limit the distractions. In the case of an emergency, pull over to the side of the road and use your phone to make a call. Additionally, you may get fined and ticketed if you were caught using your phone while driving.
Do Not Multitask
Meals should be had at home, not behind the driver’s wheel. If you need your coffee to energize you, either pull over to enjoy your drink peacefully or have it before you start driving. Don’t try to multitask no matter how good you are at it, as an incident can happen in a split second.
Pull Over If You Feel Sleepy
Fatigue and drowsiness increase the risk of an accident by almost four times. If you feel sleepy, don’t rush home as the speed plus the drowsiness will put you in great danger. The level of concentration and attention is heavily affected by drowsiness, so instead, pull over and take a nap. It’s better to arrive late than never.
Limit the Number of Passengers and Activity in the Vehicle
Active kids and enthusiastic pets can cause a big distraction for the driver. A heated argument with another passenger will take your attention from the road. Reduce the number of passengers if you can, or ask them to limit their activities. Put your pet in a carrier if possible.
The safety of your family comes first, and you need to avoid any distractions to ensure that they will be safe at all times. We may distract ourselves or be distracted from external sources, but after figuring out what distractions that can be lethal, it is of the utmost importance to avoid them as much as we can.