3 Common Distractions That Can Lead to Serious Accidents While Driving
As drivers, we all face distractions on the road. But there are three common distractions that can be particularly dangerous.
Mobile phone usage: With constant notifications, it’s tempting to check our phones while driving. But this distraction can lead to serious accidents. It’s crucial to resist the urge to engage with our phones while behind the wheel.
Eating and drinking: Life on the go can be hectic, but eating while driving is a major distraction that can impair reaction times and cause accidents. It’s important to take a break and enjoy your meal before hitting the road.
Navigation systems: GPS and navigation systems are great tools for getting us to our destinations, but they can also be a source of distraction. Taking your eyes off the road to check a map or adjust the system can create a hazardous driving environment.
To ensure your safety and the safety of those around you, it’s crucial to avoid all distractions while driving. Remember to stay focused, buckle up, and keep your eyes on the road at all times.
As a car blogger and a frequent driver, I have seen firsthand the dangers of distracted driving. In this article, I want to talk about three common distractions that can significantly increase the risk of accidents while driving. These three distractions are texting and mobile phone usage, GPS navigation systems, and eating or drinking while driving, among others.
Texting and Mobile Phone Usage while driving
One of the most dangerous driving distractions is texting or using a mobile phone while driving. It has become very common for people to keep checking their phones while driving, either to answer a call, send a text or use social media. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), using a mobile phone while driving increases the risk of accidents by six times. Despite this, many drivers still use their phones while behind the wheel, putting themselves and other road users in harm’s way.
Using your phone while driving takes your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel, and your mind off driving. It could take just a few seconds of distraction for an accident to occur. Texting or making a phone call while driving is dangerous and could have deadly consequences.
Key Point: Texting or using your phone while driving is not only illegal but could also lead to accidents.
GPS Navigation Systems
GPS navigation systems can also be a significant driving distraction. While these devices are excellent for providing directions and rerouting your journey, they can also take your attention away from the road. Many drivers become so focused on the GPS system that they lose sight of their surroundings. They become less aware of other road users and potential hazards, which could cause accidents.
While using a GPS navigation system, it’s essential to keep your focus on the road while still following the directions. One way to do this is to ensure that the GPS device is mounted securely, and its directions are audible. Avoid setting up your GPS device while driving or checking the directions continuously. Taking your eyes off the road, even for a few seconds, might lead to an accident.
Key Point: GPS navigation devices are useful, but they can be distracting. Drivers must focus more on driving than the GPS system.
Eating or Drinking while Driving
Eating or drinking while driving is another common distraction that could lead to accidents. Unfortunately, many drivers view eating or drinking while driving as a convenient way to multitask. However, this could be dangerous, particularly if drivers take their hands off the steering wheel to grab food or drinks.
Eating or drinking while driving could affect your reaction time, and it could also obstruct your view of the road. For example, if you spill a drink, it could cause a distraction, or if you need to open packaging, it might require you to take your eyes off the road. It’s best to avoid eating and drinking while driving and wait until you have arrived at your destination.
Key Point: Eating or drinking while driving is a dangerous distraction. If you must eat or drink, it’s best to pull over and park your car safely.
While it’s great to have passengers in the car as it can relieve the boredom of long journeys, it’s important to note that passengers can be just as distracting as cell phones. Passengers might engage you in a conversation or even show you something on their mobile phone, which could shift your attention away from driving. Kids fighting or talking loudly can also be a significant distraction.
To avoid passenger-related distractions, drivers must set some ground rules and establish expectations for passengers before the journey begins. For example, passengers must not distract the driver, keep conversations to a minimum, and avoid loud or rowdy behaviour.
Key Point: Passengers can be distracting while driving, and drivers must set up ground rules to avoid distractions.
Loud Music or Entertainment
Loud Music or Entertainment is another distraction that can cause accidents. Blaring music or the sound from the entertainment system might distract a driver’s attention, making it difficult to hear critical alerts or warnings. It becomes dangerous if the driver gets carried away with the music, dances, or even sings along, taking their attention away from the road.
To avoid such distractions, one should choose music or entertainment with moderate volume and avoid songs that would incite repeated listening.
Key Point: Loud Music or Entertainment can distract drivers from the road, and it’s best to maintain moderate or low volumes.
Grooming or Applying Makeup
Finally, grooming or applying makeup while driving, often done to save time or multitask, is a dangerous habit. Applying makeup or grooming while driving takes your hands, attention and your eyes away from the road, increasing the risk of accidents. Not to mention, it also puts you and other road users at risk because you are not focused on your driving.
It’s essential to groom and apply makeup before getting into your car, especially when pressed for time.
Key Point: Grooming or applying makeup while driving is a dangerous habit and should be avoided.
In conclusion, distractions while driving could be fatal. Most accidents occur under these circumstances. Drivers must focus on safe driving and avoid all distractions. Whenever they feel distracted by something, pull over and address the issue before resuming driving. As drivers, we must maintain a focus on the road and drive safely.