Many people define “distracted driving” in a limited way. They think texting while driving is the only real behavior that distracts them while behind the wheel. This is understandable since texting requires manual, cognitive, and visual attention and that’s the same attention that safe driving requires.
But, even though texting is one of the most dangerous distractions while driving, there are other activities and behaviors that can distract you from driving your car safely —―and these can be deadly too.
A few ways that can distract drivers include:
- Eating or drinking
- Talking on their cell phone, even while using a hands-free device
- Grooming (shaving or applying makeup)
- Talking to passengers
- Adjusting the stereo
- Reading, including maps
In 2014 alone, there were over 400,000 people injured in an accident caused by distracted drivers, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). There were also over 3,000 killed. Here’s some do’s and don’ts of distracted driving.
Don’t engage in juggling other activities while you’re driving that can reduce your reaction time and distract your attention. Things like changing your clothes, eating, or putting on your makeup can lead to dangerous driving.
Don’t speed. For every mile per hour you drive, you increase your chances of getting into an accident by five percent. You increase your risk even more at higher speeds. In fact, speeding is among the biggest factors that cause traffic accidents, based on NHTSA statistics.
Don’t enter information into your GPS manually while you’re driving.
Do wear your seat belt always and ensure you only use approved car seats for your children. If you have to, pull over and allow them to get out and stretch their legs if they’re complaining about being in the car seat.
Do drive cautiously in bad weather. When driving through heavy rain, fog, icy roads or a snow storm, be extremely cautious. You might have another driver who is experienced driving in bad weather conditions take the wheel if you aren’t. If not, and the weather gets worse, pull over in a safe place and wait the storm out, if possible.
Do use your phone only for emergency situations. While behind the wheel, you can use your cell phone only if it’s for an emergency, however, even better is pulling over to the side of the road safely to make your call. Keep in mind that hands-free devices can still distract your driving and can cause you to get into an accident.
Last, do have adequate car insurance. This is very important because you can’t always avoid a traffic accident and if you have one, you’ll need the coverage to avoid the costs injuries and damage. Click here to receive to compare auto insurance quotes from BOLT Insurance Agency.