Distracted driving is a huge factor in motor incidents, with roughly 8% of all fatal accidents that happened in the year 2020 factoring in some form of distraction. You might think that you don’t allow yourself to get distracted, but is that true? Here, we’re going to look at some of the causes of distraction, and some of them might be ones you’re more prone to than you think.
It is not uncommon for passengers to not really understand how their behaviour can prove to be a risk to the driver and car that they’re in, even though it also personally endangers them. If you’re new to solo driving, then you should avoid giving lifts until you become more comfortable in the car and are more vigilant and aware of the risks on the road. When you do welcome passengers, make sure they abide by the rules of not making too much noise and limited distracting behaviour.
Technology can be an aid in driving, but it’s also consistently one of the biggest dangers. There are real risks involved in taking your attention from the road to interact with your phone. That temptation can become very real on long drives. Take what steps you can to enable hands-free features, such as connecting the phone to a car, or using a mount to keep it within convenient access.
Eating and drinking
You’re not likely to be driving with a bowl of cereal in your hands, but it’s very easy to quickly sneak a bite or a drink of coffee when you’re in the car. However, if anything is occupying your hands while you’re driving, it is a serious danger. Even while you’re parked, eating and drinking can take away precious seconds of reaction time. Cupholders are often promoted as a solution, but they make the danger even more accessible. Avoiding eating and drinking unless you’re parked, full stop.
Your eyes are going to be locked on the windscreen, or what you can see through it, for the majority of the trip. A dirty or cracked windscreen can be a lot more distracting than you think and, what’s more, they can interrupt your field of vision. Fixing it ASAP with the help of services like windscreen fitters is always recommended. Even if it’s only a small crack, letting the issue linger is taking a risk you don’t need.
A lapse in attention
No one is perfect. We can lose attention if we’ve been on the road for a long time, or if it is late and we’re tired. Try to adjust to and accommodate your state as you are. If you’re feeling tired, then it might be better to pull over for either a brief rest or to get a caffeinated drink to help you regain your focus.
Distracted driving is a killer and should be taken seriously. It’s more important to become aware of your own potential faults and to try and fix them, rather than to simply assume they don’t apply to you.