We all know that texting or talking on the phone while driving is dangerous and can lead to some pretty bad crashes. Trying to put on makeup or finish your breakfast on your way to work is a big risk. And reaching over to grab something from your bag can shift your focus to all the wrong places.
But there are other driving distractions beyond the common ones that can pose just as much of a threat to you and to other drivers.
While having a passenger is often necessary, they can easily act as a distraction for you. You may be having an intense or enthusiastic conversation with the person to your right. You might be telling your children in the backseat to behave, or even handing them some snacks or toys to get them through the long car ride.
Even your dog can act as a distracting passenger for you. While having passengers in your car is often unavoidable, make sure to be aware of the dangers that they can pose to you while you’re driving.
Many people depend on music, radio shows or podcasts to entertain them while they’re in the car. But your stereo can act as a serious distraction for you. Whether you’re listening to your favorite songs or an interesting podcast, whatever is playing through the speakers can take your mind off of the road in front of you and might delay your reaction to any hazardous situations.
The volume level at which you play your radio can also have an impact on how well you are able to maintain focus on the road. Try keeping this distraction at bay by lowering the volume.
Anger, frustration, sadness and even excitement are just a few emotions that can impact your ability to be attentive behind the wheel. When you begin driving in this state, whatever made you feel that way is likely at the forefront of your mind, meaning the task at hand takes a back seat. Consider taking a breather and trying to clear your mind before jumping in the driver’s seat.
Distracted driving is entirely preventable
Anything that takes your eyes or your attention from the road before you counts as a distraction. And a distracted driver makes for a dangerous one. Knowing the kinds of distractions that await you behind the wheel can help you keep yourself, your passengers and other drivers safe from a life-changing accident.