We are living in the age of distraction–at work, at home, and even when driving. Makes you wonder how technology can sometimes endanger our lives. With a myriad of improvements on technology, we humans learn to adapt and sometimes use these technologies for things that they are not meant for.
However, technology isn’t the only source of distraction while driving. There are internal and external stimuli that could distract us while driving. Here’s the list of top 5 distractions that drivers need to pay attention to.
Top 5 Distractions while Driving
This is definitely the top of the list. When somebody sends you a text message, calls you, or if you have the sudden urge to check Twitter or Facebook, you take away your attention from driving and into your mobile phone.
Using your phone while driving would increase the chances of an accident by at least four times according to studies. Most smartphones have hands-free options now. That is definitely safer compared to handling your phone with your hands. But it can still distract you, especially if you get engaged in a heated phone conversation.
So if you absolutely need to take or make a call, pull over and have that phone call. Twitter and Facebook? Those will have to wait until you get home or to your office.
Check out this video from AT&T for the impact of distracted driving.
Drinking, eating or smoking
I get it. You may be running late in the morning and the best you could do for breakfast is a fast food drive thru. You can have a soda while driving, but you should definitely not drink while driving.
Taking a sip from a cup, bottle, or can, can still lead to accidents. Sometimes, a split second is all it takes to lead you to accident. Eating, too, can be distracting. Try not to eat or drink inside your car. Besides, you might make a mess–food pieces may fall onto your nice shirt or pants or skirt. Besides, the smell of food left on your car will be bad!
Smoking is never good for your health. But it can also be a distraction, especially if you drop it and a piece of paper or cloth starts burning in your car. If you sell your smoked-in car, you may reduce its value and you may not sell it easily.
Traveling with friends, especially on a long trip, is fun. You laugh and share stories, crack jokes, and just enjoy a road trip. But if you get too involved in boisterous laughter or even pranks, you might get into an accident. Studies show an increased rate of occurrence of accidents in young drivers when they are accompanied by their friends. However, the same stats of rate of accidents decrease if a young driver is accompanied by an adult or child and the person drives more safely than when he is alone.
Adjusting vehicle settings
One of the most dangerous distractions arise due to a bad habit of some drivers. Making adjustments on the radio or the air conditioner is almost as distracting as using your phone to send a text to someone. When you are turning your attention to these activities, your brain is no longer in full focus on the road ahead.
You may also fidget to adjust your seat, or anything found on your dashboard. When you get that itch, restrain yourself. It is always safer to pull over first and then make the adjustments as per your requirements.
Other distractions on the road
There are enough distractions on the road that can cause a moment of inattention. While on the road always stay alert and well clear of obstacles like pedestrians, animals or even other mad drivers. You also should not turn your heads if something interesting is happening on the street. Big, interesting billboards can also distract drivers. Eyes on the road. Always!
While there are numerous dangers hiding in every road, the best we can do is drive safely, follow all precautions and safely reach our destinations.