Safe driving takes up a lot of your concentration, but it is easy to get distracted whilst on the road. We have compiled a list of some of the most common driving distractions and tips on how to avoid them.
Texting distracts you in three ways: mentally, physically and visually. Because of this, it is important to prevent and avoid this distraction as soon as you get into your car. If you don’t reply to a text before beginning your journey, your brain will be thinking about it until you reach your destination. To avoid mental distraction, reply to any messages you have received before turning your engine on, this way you won’t be mentally distracted throughout your journey. Similarly, it is important that you won’t become physically distracted by your phone once you’re on the road. Avoid distraction by turning your phone off or putting it on silent and putting it in your bag so it is unable to distract you.
This is a similar distraction to texting, in the sense that it takes up mental, physical and visual attention. Because of this, it is vitally important to ensure that you know where you’re going before you set off. It is very dangerous to become visually distracted by maps and GPS devices; this can be just as dangerous as texting whilst driving. Avoid this distraction by being completely prepared before beginning your journey. Make sure that you know where you’re going, how to get there and are aware of at least one alternate route. Also, if your arrival is expected at your destination, make sure you inform them before setting off so you don’t become distracted by their calls and texts while you’re on your way.
This distraction is a little less avoidable as it is not practical to refuse to have passengers in your car. However, drivers are more likely to be distracted before a car accident if they have passengers in their car. Although there is no practical way to avoid having passengers in your car, there are a few ways to avoid becoming distracted by them. For a start, only accept passengers who you trust. If you give car rides to your friends and family it can be assumed that they will be sensible while you’re driving and won’t try to distract you. Also, if you require a higher level of concentration on roundabouts or at junctions, inform your passenger of this. This way they will be able to be considerate whilst you’re driving and be understanding when there is a lull in conversation. Passengers can even be a welcome addition to your journey. As it is highly dangerous for a driver to check their phone or refer to a map, a passenger is able to complete these tasks. Although conversation is distracting, it is a lot less distracting than attempting to send a text message and it could be useful to the journey.