When you’ve been doing it for years, driving feels like second nature. You can be on autopilot, drive to work and back home without really thinking about it.
This can be a bad thing though because often when we get too comfortable with something, we start to underestimate its danger. No one is immune to a bad experience on the road, even the most experienced drivers can end up in a bad situation.
According to an Anaheim car accident lawyer many collisions and automobile-related incidents are caused by pure human error, and being distracted on the road is at the top of the list of those errors.
What are some of the biggest driving distractions, and how can you avoid them to keep yourself and other drivers safe? In this article, you’ll learn how some of the most seemingly benign activities on the road can actually be hazardous.
Texting While Driving
Our phones are so important to us it’s fair to say that we’re joined at the hip to them. They run our lives, they contain important information and at times it really does feel like we can’t put them down.
The only problem with phones is that they can lead to us being extremely distracted and impaired on the road and there are steep consequences for not being fully focused when you’re driving.
According to Donut Media, texting drivers are 23% more likely to be in an accident, and that texting leads to more than 100,000 accidents a year and is 6 times more likely to cause an accident than driving drunk.
Human beings overestimate their ability to multitask. While we think we can do two things well at once, we actually reduce our effectiveness when our attention and focus is being split.
Texting and driving don’t go together because they both require us to be focused and engaged, and that’s hard to do on a busy road. There are so many things we need to be paying attention to when we’re driving, why complicate it with texting?
Phone calls can be just as distracting especially if we’re holding the phone to our ear or have the phone in our lap.
If you want to have a conversation, either put your phone on a car holder and use the speaker function, or if you have a newer car model, rather use Bluetooth and pair your phone to it so that the communication is routed through the speaker of your car.
Wrong Phone Placement
We don’t just rely on our phones for communication, when we’re on the road they also serve as our GPS devices. While it’s important to have those directions, one mistake a lot of drivers make is holding their phone or putting it on the lap and looking down at it to get directions.
Even if you do this for a few seconds, it’s incredibly dangerous to operate your phone and your vehicle this way. It takes a split second for someone to slip into the wrong lane or make a sudden stop.
You want to be as alert as possible, so instead of holding your phone while you look at the GPS directions, get a car phone holder that allows you to operate your GPS hands-free. Also opt for the voice GPS so you can hear the directions. These are two measures you can take to be safer on the road.
Eating and Drinking While Driving
Drinking alcohol on the road isn’t the only way consumption of food or liquids can be a distraction. It’s one thing to take a sip of your morning coffee from time to time, but trying to eat a sandwich while you’re driving is a no-no. For starters, you won’t be able to focus and you might compromise your ability to be alert and focused on the road.
Remember, you’re not in a controlled environment, the road is filled with other drivers who might have their own distractions too. You want to be able to anticipate and react to sudden changes in a matter of seconds, so it’s best to have free hands and a focus on one thing.
It’s important to have a healthy respect for the road, anything can happen. By limiting your distractions and being highly alert, you make the road safer for everyone. A car should just be your mode of transportation, it shouldn’t feel like you’re rolling a dice every time you set out on a drive.