We have all heard the frightening statistics about texting and driving. While we wholeheartedly agree that texting and driving do not mix, texting is not the only source of distractions for a driver. Here are just a few other things that can take a driver’s attention off the road for one or two precious seconds.
Blasting the stereo can impair hearing, and can also delay driving reaction times by preventing you from being able to hear something that requires a response—such as the telltale “thump thump thump” of a flat tire, the crescendo of an ambulance siren or another motorist blowing a horn.
Eating and Driving
Do you ever eat lunch on the run, with a burger in one hand and the steering wheel in the other? Aside from making a sloppy mess in your car, this can cause a wreck. It is worth a few minutes’ delay to eat your meal while the car is parked.
Conversations with Passengers
Talking on the phone while driving is bad, but any conversation can potentially distract a driver. That’s not to say that you should not talk to a passenger at all, but try to avoid discussing subjects that are complex and require a lot of concentration, or worse, anything that might become heated and emotional. Finally, if you engage in conversation, remember to keep looking straight ahead. The desire to make eye contact can be instinctive and can tempt you to look to the right.
Young children in the back seat
When driving with children or pets, remember that driving the car safely is in everyone’s best interest. Make sure that infants are strapped in securely. If a toddler manages to wriggle out of the car seat, pull the vehicle over as soon as you can do so safely, and address the problem while the car is stopped.
Sluggish GPS devices
GPS is a great technology, but it has a downside. In earlier times, when we had to ask for directions, it was a more automatic habit to pay attention to road signs and watch for the next turn. If you are driving in an unfamiliar area or have spotty satellite coverage, your GPS device may be delayed in telling you when to turn. If your GPS tells you to turn right as you are coming up on the intersection, keep on going and make a U-turn if needed.
Reaching for items in hard-to-access places
If you’re looking for something and can’t remember whether you put it in the glove box, the side door holder or the back seat, don’t rummage for it at 65mph. Wait until the car is stopped.
In today’s type-A world, we feel the pressure to multitask and get more done in less time. When it comes to driving, safety comes first. You can always find other ways to get more done during other times in the day.
The next time your vehicle needs maintenance, be sure to bring it by one of our three convenient Triangle locations. Give us a call today to make an appointment.