A distracted driver is one of the leading causes of fatal car accidents in America. Distracted driving occurs whenever a driver is preoccupied by an activity that takes his hands off the wheel or his mind off the road. We’ve compiled the top ten driving distractions that may seem benign but can result in fatal outcomes. We’ve all committed one of these offenses at one time or another, but for your safety and for the safety of others out on the road, avoid the ten distractions below as often possible!
Playing Too Much Groovy Music
Over 60% of surveyed motorists admitted to being distracted by their radio or iPod while driving. Nobody likes grooving to car jams more than I do, but switching to another station or getting too lost in the music while you’re driving IS dangerous. Don’t wait for an accident to prove that you.
Talking To Other Passengers
It’s always nice to have a passenger or two with you in the car, but if you get too involved in the conversation or too emotionally heated, you can lose focus of the task ahead of you. If you’re the driver, try to make sure you keep the chitchat to a minimum so you can focus on the task at hand!
Getting Lost In Your Own Thoughts
This one can be hard to avoid. If you’re driving home from a long horrible workday or from a horrible fight with a friend at their house, your mind might be preoccupied. You might be distraught or angry and ruminating on what happened. If you’re a little more preoccupied than usual, consider stopping in a café or visiting a shop before you continue driving.
It always seems like a great idea to take ol’ Skippy for a drive, but unfortunately, Skippy can pose unexpected risks if he is not in cage or otherwise restrained. What if Skippy moves suddenly to get at something in your pocket? No matter how well trained your puppy may be, you can never be 100% sure. Don’t risk it. Use a puppy seat belt or leave the pup at home.
Not smoking exactly, but lighting up a cigarette or putting ashes in a tray can momentarily distract you. The best advice we offer is to put off smoking until you’ve reached your final destination. If you need a smoke try to light up when you’re stopped and get rid of ashes without taking your eyes off the road.
Stop looking at that collision to the right of you! When you slow down to have a look at a wreck, your mind and eyes are not focusing on the road ahead of you effectively.
Talking On Your Phone
The next three distractions all focus on the cellphone. First, talking on your cellphone. If your phone rings while you’re on the road, reconsider answering and let the caller leave you a message. You can call them back when you’re able to do so safely.
Who calls anymore? Because texting is so easy, it can be even more alluring to send a quick text, thinking perhaps that you’re still in control of the wheel enough to manage both. You’re not. Driving effectively really requires all of your concentration and those times you might manage to text a friend and avoid an accident are all lucky moments not further proof why you should continue text messaging while driving.
If you shouldn’t talk on your cellphone or text message, you should definitely not tweet. Whatever crazy, funny post you thought of can wait.
Eating Or Drinking
Remember, no hunger is so severe, no event so immediate that you can’t take the time to stop to sip your coffee, eat your bagel or finish that burger. You can be a really great driver, but still spill your cup of hot coffee and drive into a street lamp or car.