The consequences of distracted driving are wide-ranging and serious. Whether it’s talking on a cell phone or other activities that take one’s mind away from the act of driving, distracted driving accounts for hundreds of thousands of deaths annually.
It’s important to look presentable when driving, but don’t do it behind the wheel. Leave alone your shaggy hair or applying makeup when driving, and wait until you get home or stop for that purpose.
Eating Or Drinking
Eating, in particular, puts you at high risk because your eyes are on the food and your hands are occupied. You might also move around in your seat to find a more comfortable position for eating. To be safe, take snacks before the journey to avoid the temptation to eat and drink behind the wheel.
Texting is dangerous because it combines all three types of distraction. Looking at a phone is a visual distraction; holding the phone with one hand while steering with the other is a manual distraction. Texting requires more mental concentration than a conversation, leading to cognitive distraction.
Interacting With Passengers
You may not realize it, but talking with passengers can take your focus off the road. Keep conversations brief and if they become too distracting, pull over to a safe area and talk or let the passengers know they are distracting you.
Children, especially young ones, can be difficult to manage, and it is more challenging to keep them under control and focus on the drive. Even when kids are behaving well and only ask a few questions, parents need to stay focused on the road instead of turning their attention to them.
Adjusting the Radio
Changing stations, adjusting the volume, and even putting in a new disc, is a way that takes your eyes and concentration off the road. Set up your radio before you begin driving, and if you really need to change something while driving, use controls that don’t require you to take your hands off the wheel or eyes off the road. Some types of music can also be distracting because they cause you to sing along or bob your head to the beat.
Reading A GPS Map
When you take your eyes off the road to look in any direction, you put yourself and others in danger. If you need directions while driving, try using an app with voice navigation or pulling over to read a GPS map or enter information into your GPS device.
Taking Photos When Driving
Some drivers take photos with one hand on the wheel, while others use selfie sticks to position the phone at different angles to get a better shot while they are driving. This is illegal in many states and can lead to fines, license suspensions, and even jail time.
Talking On The Phone
Talking on a phone causes distractions, whether you use a hands-free phone or not. Phone conversations take your mind off the road and hinder you from paying attention to the driver in front of you and the pedestrians crossing the street. If a truck driver hits you when speaking on the phone, hire a commercial truck accident attorney to file claims.
Looking At People Outside the Car
The most obvious example is when there is an accident, and drivers slow down to look at the scene. Also, when a driver slows down because they see someone they know walking on the side of the road, some even lean over to get a better view of them. This type of curiosity can lead to an accident.
As a driver, whether you’re on the road for work or pleasure, it’s important to recognize that distractions can come from many different sources. All of these can be dangerous to your safety and the safety of others. So try to stay focused as much as possible, especially if driving alone.