You can easily be distracted while driving. Nowadays, it seems like there is always something to look at other than the road. It’s tempting to text, talk on your phone, check the GPS, and even eat while driving, but these actions can cost you your life or cause you to injure or kill someone else.
What is distracted driving?
‘Distracted driving’ is driving while doing another activity that takes your attention away from driving. Sending a text message, talking on a cell phone, using a navigation system, and eating or drinking while driving are a few examples of distracted driving.
Being distracted, even for a few seconds, can cause a fatal crash because distracted drivers are not fully focused on the road and are slower to react. It’s no surprise that distracted driving is a major cause of accident-related injuries and deaths.
Top causes of distracted driving
The most common distractions while driving include:
- Talking on the phone (hand-held or hands-free)
- Using a phone for texting or emailing
- Eating, drinking, and smoking
- Changing radio stations, adjusting the A/C
- Checking and adjusting your GPS
- Looking at something or someone outside the vehicle (signboards, accidents)
- Personal grooming (combing hair, applying makeup)
- Searching for objects in the vehicle
- Interacting with other passengers (talking, arguing, partying)
- Daydreaming or being “lost in thought”
- Having a child or a pet in the vehicle
How to drive without distractions
Distractions cause accidents. Taking your eyes off the road for even a second can have harmful results. Here are some tips to help you drive without distraction:
Stay off your phone
- Ideally, turn off your phone when driving. Place it somewhere that you can’t reach to avoid the temptation to use it.
- If you do leave your phone on, let your calls go to voicemail and ignore your text messages.
- If a passenger is present, ask them to handle your calls and texts.
- Find a safe place to pull over and stop, if it’s very important to make a call or send a text or email.
- Bluetooth hands-free talking may allow your hands to be on the wheel, but is still pretty distracting as it takes your mind and attention off the road. Use it only when absolutely needed.
Make adjustments before you start driving
- Adjust the mirrors, seat, and A/C and set up the GPS, before you start driving.
- Preset your favourite radio stations so that you only have to press one button to hear what you want. Avoid playing distracting and loud music.
- When possible, put a passenger in charge of tasks like temperature control, changing the music, or checking the GPS.
Make driving your only task
- Avoid eating, drinking, or smoking in the vehicle. Fumbling with a food wrapper or spilling a hot drink on your lap while driving can be deadly. Eat before you leave or after you arrive.
- Don’t be distracted by something or someone outside the vehicle, such as road accidents, commercial signboards, and people in other vehicles.
- Don’t reach out for objects, such as water bottles or sunglasses, on the back seat or elsewhere. If something falls on the floor, don’t try to pick it up while driving. Wait until you are parked.
- Do your personal grooming at home before leaving, not while driving. This includes activities such as combing hair or applying makeup.
- Driving is not the time for intense talks or arguments with other passengers, which can be very distracting. Save the serious discussions for later.
- A child or a pet in the vehicle can be a big distraction. Do not attend to them, while driving. Pull over and stop first.
When you are driving, give your full attention to the road. It’s your job to keep yourself, your passengers and other road users safe. Remember, if you take your eyes off the road, it could take your life.
Disclaimer: All material on Hidoc.co is provided for informational purposes only and should not be taken as a substitute for professional medical or health advice. Always seek the advice of your physician for any questions regarding your symptoms or medical condition and before taking any home remedies or supplements.