Even if you’re an excellent driver, being distracted increases the risk you’ll be involved in an accident. We all know the obvious distractions like taking our eyes off the road or using the phone.
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The fact is, you might not even realize when you’re becoming distracted. Here are five ways you’re driving distracted without realizing it.
Using your cell phone
Using your cellphone while driving can cause you to take your mind off driving. Even using your hands-free function or your smart assistant can cause you to lose focus and have an accident.
Only use your phone in an emergency.
Eating or drinking
They have drive thru’s for a reason, right? Trying to eat a snack or drink a coffee when you’re driving is a recipe for disaster. Holding your food will take a hand off the wheel, leaving you less able to react in an emergency. If you’re looking at your food while you’re eating it, you’re also pulling attention away from the road.
Talking to people in the car
People in the car with you can be a huge distraction, especially if you are talking animatedly or trying to calm a car full of bickering family members. Try not to get too emotional or into heated or animated conversations when you’re driving.
It’s easy to get caught up in the stresses of everyday. Thinking about your job, career, relationship or finances can all take your mind off driving, meaning that you might not react in time to road conditions. Try and get into the habit of clearing your mind on journeys and concentrating on driving.
Messing with the car controls
Cars are full of features and gadgets these days. Between the entertainment system, the SatNav, and other car controls, trying to work the controls in your car can distract you greatly.
Not only will you have at least one hand off the wheel, but you’ll probably be looking at the car controls too, meaning that you won’t be able to see or react to what’s going on around you.
If you really need to change control, pull over to a safe spot. Set your SatNav before the start of your journey so that you don’t have to try and set it on the move, or invest in a voice-controlled model.
It’s not just the obvious distractions you have to look out for. Being a responsible driver means keeping your eyes on the road, hands on the wheel, and focusing on your driving. Focused drivers are involved in fewer accidents involving other vehicles or pedestrians and make the roads a safer place for everyone.
If you’re driving and you feel yourself becoming distracted, try to remove the distraction and refocus your attention.