The world is full of all kinds of distractions, but interruptions while driving can become catastrophic. Precious lives are lost every year due to distracted driving that can often be prevented. Consider these 5 driving distractions to avoid to help preserve lives.
Talking to Passengers
One of the most common driving distractions is talking to passengers. If you find yourself engaged in an entertaining conversation or argument with a fellow passenger, it can pull your primary focus away from the road. Scolding children while driving can leave parents in a position that leaves everyone around them vulnerable. Sometimes, other drivers may be experiencing mechanical or electrical problems with their car, or have a horn or turn signal that does not work. If another driver attempts to communicate or send a hand signal in your direction, you can totally miss it while distracted by the conversation in your vehicle.
Reading and Writing Texts While Driving
In this technological age, one of the worst driving distractions is reading or writing texts while driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that texting is the most alarming distraction that can take your eyes off the road for an average of five seconds. To snatch your attention away from the road for even a few seconds to text can be deadly.
Eating and Drinking
If you are hungry, avoid jumping behind the wheel until after you eat. Eating and drinking while driving is one of the most common distractions that many motorists are guilty of. In addition, a sudden coffee spill or container of food toppling over can cause a driver to suddenly jerk or dive down to rescue a meal while driving.
Using Your Smartphone
It is not uncommon for millennials to dabble on their smartphones while driving. Whether you are accepting a phone call from a loved one, searching for something online, or scrolling through the latest social media posts, the diversion can cause accidents. Although there are a number of apps designed to offer hands-free convenience, many people still decide to pick up their phones to engage while holding the steering wheel.
Being Lost in Thought
Did you know that the number one driving distraction is daydreaming? The Association for Psychological Science states that mind-wandering can account for up to two-thirds of roadside distractions, and it impacts all kinds of drivers in different ways. In a series of psychological studies, drivers were found to slow down or speed up based on their flow of thoughts. Being unaware of what you are doing behind the wheel while daydreaming is dangerous for everyone.
It is important to remember that an accident can happen at any moment, and any second you are driving distracted can lead to a fatal collision. Nobody can determine what lies ahead on any road with 100% predictability, so it is crucial to keep your eyes and ears open. Nowadays, it is also smart to be a defensive driver to prevent accidents and save lives. This means that even if you are not distracted on the road, you should be on the lookout for drivers who may be preoccupied themselves.