Watching YouTube videos of cats swimming in a pool, backyard wrestling, or babies dancing can do wonders for passing the time. Doing it while driving, however, can cause a multi-car pile-up and might even be deadly. Distractions are the leading cause of accidents on the road today and they are completely avoidable. Everyone has seen a driver feverishly texting on their cell phone as their car veers off the road oblivious to an impending disaster. Whether you are working towards your license or already have one, you should pay close attention to this list of dangerous driving distractions!
Adjusting the Music
Changing the radio station, swapping in a new CD or fiddling with an iPod can distract you long enough to lose your focus on the road. All it takes is a split second of distracted concentration for disaster to strike.
Multitasking always seems like a plus, and applying makeup in the car on the way to work saves valuable time. Unfortunately, it is also a great way to completely lose track of the road and cause a pile-up.
The road can be a blistering inferno of anger, even for the most god-fearing, kind, and law-abiding individual. Cutting off or making rude gestures to another driver are two examples of how road rage can rear its ugly head. When you are not yourself on the road, poor judgments are made. If someone cuts you off, take a deep breath and think before you do anything crazy. Chances are the person made a mistake, and even if they didn’t, retaliating just isn’t worth it.
Fiddling with Cell Phone, GPS, other electronics
Now that hands free earpieces are available cell phone-related accidents have decreased, but they still account for roughly 18 percent of fatalities on the road. Texting, more capable internet-enabled phones, and camera phones have led to new dangers, but accidents can be avoided if phones are left out of reach.
Working on car while driving
Unless you are driving on long trips on a daily basis, your car is sitting at rest for the majority of the day. Use that time to adjust gauges, seats, clocks, mirrors, and other general maintenance for your car, not while on the road.
No one wants to let their Big Mac get cold after departing a drive-thru, but eating in the car can be a dangerous habit and is easy to avoid. Pull off the road or put that burger down. You're welcome.
Talking with Passengers
Sure, you may want to hear what is going on with Tina from Geometry class as much as the next person, but focusing on friends in the car takes concentration away from the road and that's when problems arise.
It’s trendy these days is to have a pet that can snuggle inside your purse, backpack, or shirt pocket. Even the bigger pets like to sit shotgun! But when these fluffy friends aren't secure in the back seat, they can become quite the distraction in the car.
“Are we there yet?”
“I need to use the bathroom.”
Parents have heard it all, and sometimes it’s enough to make even the most focused driver distracted. Attempting to teach your children a lesson in the car for misbehaving can distract you for far longer than the moment of time it takes for your car to head off course.
Stay safe by keeping away from some of these simple distractions and focusing your attention on the road. Others will thank you too!