Distracted driving is a serious issue in the United States. Approximately nine people die every day in a crash that involves a distracted driver, and 1,000 more are injured. Get the details on the biggest distractions when driving and make a point to avoid these distractions. Staying focused on the road is the key to avoiding accidents, serious injuries, and death.
Cell phones have made life so much more convenient. Now, you can pick up your phone to talk and text others, and you can also use the device to look up information. It’s a great tool when you aren’t behind the wheel, but it’s very dangerous to use when you drive. In 2017, 401 fatal crashes involved distracted driving related to cell phone use. Avoid using your cell phone when driving, so you can stay safe on the road.
You want to avoid using your cell phone when behind the wheel, so you’ve switched to hands-free controls. You might issue voice commands to send texts or make phone calls. Also, voice commands are common for changing the music station or pulling up information such as directions.
Unfortunately, this is a much bigger distraction than you likely realize. It takes as much as 27 seconds to get your mind back on the road after issuing a voice command. Those 27 seconds can be deadly.
You’ve likely been guilty of eating a burger or two while on the road. Most people do it without giving it a second thought, but it’s a leading cause of distracted driving. It’s not just the act of chewing and swallowing that leads to the distraction. When you eat while driving, you are at risk of spilling or dropping food and drinks. Also, the steering wheel can become greasy and slippery. These little distractions can add up and cause an accident.
Have you ever found yourself daydreaming when driving? The more miles you put behind you, the more lost in thought you become. Daydreaming might help you pass the time, but it can also lead to a dangerous wreck. It’s critical to keep your mind on the road. Save the daydreaming for when you are safely at home.
Reaching for Something
Sometimes you get on the road, only to realize you’ve left something important in the backseat. You know you should pull over and get it, but it’s within your reach. You’ll just put your hand back there, grab it, and keep on driving. You might think you can do this without distraction, but this simple reach is a leading cause of distracted driving accidents. Pull over and grab the item instead of reaching behind you to get it.
Using the GPS
Your GPS might seem like a lifesaver. Before you had a GPS, you had to pull out your map and search for directions. Now, you just need to program in an address, and it does the work for you. Unfortunately, though, GPS use can lead to distracted driving. First, you might program in an address while driving, which is very dangerous. Second, you likely glance at the GPS from time to time. That simple glance pulls your attention from the road and puts you at risk for causing an accident.
Stay Safe on the Roads
You cannot prevent others from engaging in distracted driving, but you can eliminate distractions from your own vehicle. Then, if you do encounter a distracted driver, you will be more likely to react quickly to avoid an accident. From cell phones to GPS devices, make sure you are free from distractions and fully focused on the road.